Mortimer Murphy, Austin Stack Park
Austin Stacks dethroned Dr Crokes to secure the Kerry senior club championship title for the first time since 2016 at Austin Stack Park yesterday.
The game turned on a first-half penalty - awarded for a foul on Kieran Donaghy - with Darragh O'Brien sending Shane Murphy the wrong way and edging his side into a 1-9 to 1-8 lead at the break, an advantage they would retain until the fulltime whistle.
Gavin O’Shea, who along with Daithí Casey, John Payne and Johnny Buckley impressed for Dr Crokes - had the game's opening goal in the sixth minute. The Killarney side were looking menacing as they raced 1-4 to 0-2 clear inside the opening quarter.
Then Stacks hit a purple patch with six unanswered points from Donaghy (2) Greg Horan (2), Ronan Shanahan and Fiadhna Mangan to take the lead. Crokes responded well as scores from Tony Brosnan (2) Casey and David Shaw had them back ahead before O'Brien's impressive penalty.
The third quarter was nip and tuck as Stacks, with teenager Sean Quilter now a central figure, led 1-13 to 1-12 with 13 minutes to go. But four Sean Quilter points which brought his second-half tally to 0-7, killed off a tiring Crokes side that were chasing shadows.
Casey and Payne tried to lift Crokes with points, but Stacks were rampant and subs Conor Jordan, Shane Carroll and Ferdia O’Brien added to their tally as they secured bragging rights over their Killarney rivals.
S Quilter ( 0-7, 3 frees), D O’Brien ( 1-3, 2 frees, 1-0 pen), G Horan, K Donaghy and S O’Callaghan (0-2 each), R Shanahan, F Mangan, S Carroll, C Jordan and F O’Brien ( 0-1 each)
D Casey ( 0-5, 3 frees), G O’Shea ( 1-1), M Burns and T Brosnan ( 0-2 each), J Payne, J Buckley, D Shaw, K O’Leary and J Kiely (0-1 each)
S Murphy; J Payne, M Moloney, F Fitzgerald; D O’Leary, A
O’Sullivan , M Potts; J Buckley, D Casey; M Burns, G O’Shea, B Looney;
D Shaw, K O’Leary, T Brosnan.
J Kiely for A O’Sullivan (42), M Milner for G O’Shea (47), J
Lyne for M Potts (55), M O’Shea for J Buckley (56), B Courtney for D
R Murphy; C Griffin, B Shanahan, J O’Shea; C O’Reilly,
R Shanahan, J Morgan; W Guthrie, J O’Connor; G Horan, D O’Brien, F
Mangan; S Quilter, K Donaghy, S O’Callaghan.
C Jordan for F Mangan (38), M O’Gara for W Guthrie (inj 40), F
O’Brien for D O’Brien (52), S Carroll for S O’Callaghan (58), B
Patterson for C Griffin (60+)