It wasn’t the classic many expected but that won’t bother Dr Crokes who added to their bulging trophy cabinet on Saturday with victory in the Kerry Senior Club Championship final at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney.
Dr Crokes, with Colm Cooper showing no ill effects from his recent ankle injury, did just enough to win the first major silverware of the new season but were let off the hook when Rathmore failed to convert two glorious second half goal chances.
Leading 0-9 to 0-3 early in the second period, following scores from Brian Looney and Colm Cooper (free), Crokes looked like cruising to victory but they then lost their shape.
But when the chances came, Rathmore came up short. After a Donal O’Sullivan free left Rathmore five points adrift, they were awarded a penalty when Eoin Lawlor was felled in the square. However, John Buckley’s strike was saved by Alan Kelly. Then, with ten minutes remaining, full-back James O’Sullivan’s chance of an equalising goal was smothered and the winners cleared their lines.
Crokes finished the game with five unanswered points with the excellent Jamie Doolan (man-of-the-match) and Chris Brady grabbing a brace apiece while Daithi Casey added a free.
Cooper hit three points in the opening half as Dr Crokes came from 0-2 to 0-1 behind to rattle off six unanswered scores, with Doolan, Johnny Buckley and Fionn Fitzgerald all chipping in before a Donal O’Sullivan free just before half-time ended 25 scoreless minutes for Rathmore.
Meanwhile, Spa are through to the Kerry intermediate football final after a 0-8 to 0-7 win over Dromid Pearses.
Kenmare face Na Gaeil in the county junior final after semi-final wins over Glenbeigh/Glencar (0-10 to 0-9) and St Pats (2-14 to 2-11) respectively. Scartaglin play Lispole in the Kerry novice final following Saturday night’s action, as Scartaglin defeated Templenoe 1-6 to 0-6 and Lispole beat Valentia 1-15 to 0-17.
Scorers for Dr Crokes: J Doolan, C Cooper (2f) 0-4 each, C Brady, D Casey (2f) 0-2 each, B Looney, J Buckley 0-1 each.
Scorers for Rathmore: D O’Sullivan (3f, 1 45) 0-4, M O’Riordan (f), C O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
DR CROKES: A Kelly; J Payne, M Moloney, D O’Leary, F Fitzgerald, E Brosnan, S Myers; A O’Donovan, J Buckley; K O’Leary, C Brady, B Looney; C Cooper, D Casey, J Doolan.
Subs: A Kenneally for B Looney (50); G O’Shea for A O’Donovan (56); C O’Neill for S Myers (58); S O’Neill for J Doolan (60).
RATHMORE: P McCarthy; K Cahill, J O’Sullivan, C Kelly; P Murphy, T O’Sullivan, C O’Sullivan; A O’Mahony, D O’Sullivan; M Reen, M A Kelleher, E Lawlor; M O’Riordan, J Buckley, B O’Keeffe.
Subs: J Moynihan for M A Kelleher (26); S Reen for K Cahill (38); P Reen for D O’Sullivan (60).
Referee: Paul O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses).
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