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Midfield dominance the deciding factor as Dingle defeat Crokes 2014-05-14 09:13:00

After a tense and exciting battle, Dingle proved just too strong for a never say die Dr Crokes side, in this well contested Keanes SuperValu Killorglin, Minor Football League, Division 1 final, played at the Austin Stack Park on Wednesday evening.

Dingle won because of the dominance they enjoyed in the middle of the park, where their Kerry minor pairing, Barry O’Sullivan and Mark O’Connor reigned supreme and in fact in the second half, Crokes, decided the best way to counter it, was to take short kick outs and work the ball up the field, which turned out to be tough work, against tenacious Dingle defending.

Dingle had two inside forwards who did well in the absence of the injured Cathal Bambury, Conor Geaney kicking four superb points from play and two from corner forward, Tomás Sheehy. Crokes had their two Kerry minors, Micheal Burns and Jordan Kiely, buzzing up front but they found players like Tom O’Sullivan, Matthew Flaherty and Conor O’Sullivan hard to get by, and so scores were always hard won.

Crokes settled better early on and kicked two wides in the opening five minutes, and wasted a number of chances before O’Sullivan and O’Connor got going at midfield, and Barry O’Sullivan gave Dingle the lead in their first attack.

In the 9th minute, a sweeping move started by Barry O’Sullivan, was finished by Tom O’Sullivan who slotted over a fine left footed effort.

Garrett Hickey Brosnan pulled a goal bound effort wide in the 10th minute but Crokes were right back in the game and level by the end of the opening quarter, with points from Chris Doncel and Michéal Burns, after a Dingle turnover.

But Dingle were in top in the middle and Marc O’Connor and Matthew Flaherty set up Garret Hickey Brosnan for the lead point in the 16th minute and Dingle looked the better side for most of the second quarter.

Brosnan added a ’45, but Crokes Shane Lyne was left unmarked and he punished Dingle. Conor Geaney who has two more years at minor level, then kicked a fine left footed point, before Crokes had a penalty claim turned down in the 22nd minute after Jordan Kiely went down in the square. After consulting his umpires, the referee threw the ball in and when Crokes won possession, Jordan Kiely somehow blazed wide of a gaping goal.

Two Dingle wides were followed by the score of the game, a Marc O’Connor point, after a fifty yard surge, as Dingle led by double scores ( 0-6 to 0-3), but points from Michéal Burns and Jordan Kiely closed the gap to a point. Conor Geaney had the final say on the stroke of half time, thus leaving Dingle leading 0-7 to 0-5, going to the dressing rooms.

Crokes were again quick off the blocks at the start of the second half, and two rapid points from Adam O’Shea and Paul Clarke, saw the sides tied on 0-9 apiece and for the next ten minutes, the play ebbed and flowed but Barry O’Sullivan was covering acres of ground. He kicked his side in front in the 36th minute, and Crokes began to take short kick outs, as they gave up on winning ball in the air. Burns then fired wide after Adam O’Shea took a quick free, but Geaney punished Crokes with a beauty as he shuffled across the pitch.

Jordan Kiely and Geaney then exchanged points, as Dingle maintained their two point advantage, and when Tomás Sheehy made it three at the end of third quarter, it looked as if Crokes were in trouble.

Jordan Kiely from another free gave Crokes fresh hope as a goal would snatch the win, and Crokes did have one chance but a combination of keeper and Barry O Sullivan kept the ball out and that was that.

Dingle played possession football for the final five minutes, and on the break, added two points from Sheehy and Tom O’Sullivan got the insurance point in injury time. Crokes wing back Darren O’Doherty had the final say, but it was too little too late and Dingle had won the Co League last won five years ago. 
Peter Keane, of Keanes Supervalu Killorglin, presented the Man of the Match trophy to Dingle full forward Conor Geaney, who kicked four superb points from play, while Co. Board Chairman Patrick O’Sullivan, presented the League trophy to Dingle captain Conor O’Sullivan.

Dingle: Conor Geaney 0-4, Gareth Hickey Brosnan 0-2 (0-1 ’45), Tom O’Sullivan, Barry O’Sullivan and Tomás Sheehy 0-2 each, Mark O’Connor 0-1. 
Dr Crokes: Jordan Kiely 0-3 ( 0-2 frees), Michéal Burns 0-2, Darren O’Doherty, Chris Doncel, Shane Lyne, Adam O’Shea and Paul Clarke 0-1 each.

Dingle: Luke Wallace, Tom Leo O’Sullivan, Conor O’Sullivan, Mikey Boyle, Mathew Flaherty, Aiden O’Connor, Tom O’Sullivan, Barry O’Sullivan , Mark O’Connor, Patrick Sheehy, Gareth Hickey Brosnan, Mark Ashe, Tomás Sheehy, Conor Geaney, Ruadhan McCarthy. Subs: Luke McLarnon for R McCarthy (h/t).
Dr Crokes: Johnny O’Leary, Jack Lenihan, Aaron Murphy, Brian Fitzgerald, Darren O’Doherty, Gavin White, Creagh Courtney, Mc Dara De Bhillis, Jason O’Sullivan, Chris Doncel, Michéal Burns, Shane Lyne, Adam O’Shea, Jordan Kiely, Jason O’Leary.
Subs: Paul Clarke for Jason O’Sullivan (26), Michael Casey for Jason O’ Leary (46), Denis Fleming for Shane Lyne (50)

Referee: Michael Moriarty (Keel)