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Dr Crokes qualify for All Ireland Club Final 2017-02-11 22:46:00

Dr Crokes qualify for All Ireland Club Final


By JOHN FALLON at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick Courtesy of GAA.ie

Dr Crokes put three semi-final defeats behind them to advance to the All-Ireland SFC club final with a deserved win in Limerick.

The Kerry champions got a grip on the game early and never let go, even when Corofin twice clawed their way back into contention.

But Crokes had enough craft to seal the win and take Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper a step closer to an elusive All-Ireland club medal next month.

Dr Crokes got on top from the start and deservedly led by 1-7 to 0-5 at the interval, with O’Leary tormenting the Corofin defence.

The Kerry side raced into a 0-3 to 0-0 lead after just three minutes with Brian Looney getting them off the mark before O’Leary popped over a couple of frees.

Corofin eventually settled and Ian Burke got their opening score after ten minutes.O’Leary again found the range for Crokes but efforts from Michael Farragher, Jason Leonard and Gary Sice cut the gap to 0-5 to 0-4 after 24 minutes.

But then four minutes from the break Crokes pulled away. An effort from the right by Cooper was kept in play by O’Leary and he passed outside to Gavin O’Shea, whose shot for a point dipped into the top corner of the net.

O’Leary then added a point before Sice responded for Corofin when he added a free after Dylan Wall was fouled.

But O’Leary turned the screw further when he kicked his fifth point of the half from play to leave them ahead by double scores at the break at 1-7 to 0-5.

Crokes extended their lead with frees from Cooper and Daithi Casey inside two minutes of the restart.

However, Corofin never gave up and Jason Leonard sparked a revival with a point.

Then Dylan Wall then burst through for two points for Corofin to cut the gap to four going into the final quarter.

However, Crokes met the challenge superbly with Daithi Casey soloing from deep inside his own half to bear down on the Corofin goal and set up Jordan Kiely to blast to the net ten minutes from to kill off the game as a contest.

Futher points from Tony Brosnan and goalkeeper Shane Murphy with a free wrapped up the win to set up a final showdown with Slaughtneil on St Patrick’s Day.

Scorers for Dr Crokes: Kieran O’Leary 0-5, Jordan Kiely 1-0, Gavin O’Shea 1-0, Daithi Casey 0-2 (0-2f), Colm Cooper 0-1 (0-1f), Shane Murphy 0-1 (0-1f), Brian Looney 0-1, Tony Brosnan 0-1.

Scorers for Corofin: Gary Sice 0-2 (0-2f), Jason Leonard 0-2 (0-1f), Dylan Wall 0-2, Ian Burke 0-1, Michael Farragher 0-1.

DR CROKES: Shane Murphy; John Payne, Michael Moloney, Fionn Fitzgerald; David O’Leary, Gavin White, Luke Quinn; Ambrose O’Donovan, Alan O’Sullivan; Johnny Buckley, Gavin O’Shea, Brian Looney; Colm Cooper, Daithi Casey, Kieran O’Leary. Subs: Shane Doolan for White (29, blood sub), White for Doolan (half-time), Michael Burns for Looney (42), Jordan Kiely for O’Shea (48), Tony Brosnan for Casey (54), Doolan for O’Leary (59), Mike Milner for Cooper (63)

COROFIN: Bernard Power; Cathal Silke, Kieran Fitzgerald, Liam Silke; Kieran Molloy, Ciaran McGrath, Conor Cunningham; Daithi Burke, Ronan Steede; Gary Sice, Dylan Wall, Jason Leonard; Ian Burke, Michael Farragher, Michael Lundy. Subs: Greg Higgins for C Silke (36), Alan Burke for Molloy (38), Barry O’Donovan for Cunningham (49), Colin Brady for Wall (51).

Dr Crokes’ time has come

The long wait since the Munster Final victory over The Nire at the end of November is finally over for Dr Crokes as they embark on their quest for an All Ireland final appearance in Croke Park on St Patrick’s day. First of course they have to overcome a major obstacle in the form of 2015 All Ireland champions, Corofin of Galway at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday next (throw-in 4pm). 

 The Killarney side faced very little resistance as they powered their way to an 11th Kerry senior football championship title last year, and while Loughmore-Castleiney of Tipperary did put it up to the Kerry champions for a long time in the Munster semi final, there was never a hint that they would see defeat in the final. Former Kerry star, Eoin Brosnan is a major injury doubt for Dr Crokes and his loss will be sorely felt given his experience and ability to fill any role allotted to him on the day by Pat O’Shea and his management team. Dr Crokes of course do have a host of match winners and men for the big occasion, have an excellent keeper, a solid enough defence and are a match for anyone from midfield up. In Corofin, they do face a stern test of their pedigree but if the game goes down to the wire as expected, then the black and amber side certainly have the forwards who know how to turn a half chance into a winning score. We wish them well. Referee is Ciaran Branagan (Down).St Vincents and Slaughtneil meet in the other semi final in Newry, at 2pm on Saturday