Dr Crokes managed to grind out a comeback win after being reduced to 14-men for most of the second-half of their Munster Club SFC quarter-final in Clonmel,.
Alan O’Sullivan was sent-off when trailing by one after 36 minutes but the reigning All-Ireland champions outscored Clonmel Commercials by eight points to one thereafter.
The home side were quick to lay down a marker, responding to Fionn Fitzgerald’s opening point with four of their own, including excellent long-rangers from corner-back Jamie Peters and Jack Kennedy.
Kennedy and Tipperary hurler Seamus Kennedy, matched up with Johnny Buckley, were dominant in midfield, although three quickfire points from Daithi Casey, Buckley and Tony Brosnan levelled the scores at five-all.
Clonmel, however, resumed their lockdown of the Crokes attack for the final 11 minutes of the half as more superb point-taking from Kevin Fahey and sweeper Ross Peters gave Clonmel the two-point interval lead.
The second-half exploded to life with a goal-line block by John Payne denying Michael Quinlivan a sure goal, before a square-ball call denied Crokes when Casey’s free hit the net.
O’Sullivan’s red card seemed to have the Kerry champions in trouble but they responded with points from Kieran O’Leary, Jordan Kiely and Micheál Burns for a two-point lead.
Richie Gunne finally put Clonmel on the second-half scoreboard but Crokes were rampant by now and subs Kiely and Paul Clarke put the seal on the win.
J Peters, K Fahey, K Harney, J Kennedy, R Peters, M Quinlivan, E Fitzgerald, R Gunne (0-1 each).
D Casey (2 frees), M Burns (0-3 each); J Buckley, T Brosnan (0-2 each), F Fitzgerald, K O'Leary, P Clarke, J Kiely (0-1 each).
M O’Reilly; J Peters, D Lynch, L Ryan; K Fahey, D Madigan, K Harney; R Peters; S Kennedy, J Kennedy; J Lonergan, P Looram, I Fahey; M Quinlivan, E Fitzgerald.
L Moore for J Peters (BC, 34), R Gunne for Fitzgerald (41), R Lambe for I Fahey (55), A Lonergan for R Peters (55).
S Murphy; J Payne, M Moloney, S Doolan; F Fitzgerald, G White, L Quinn; A O’Sullivan, J Buckley; M Burns, G O’Shea, B Looney; T Brosnan, K O’Leary, D Casey.
J Kiely for Looney (37), P Clarke for Brosnan (43), E Brosnan for Burns (62), A O’Donovan for O’Leary (BC, 62).
A O’Sullivan (36).
K Murphy (Cork).