Crokes cruise into the semi-finals
Tir Chonaill Gaels 0-6 Dr Crokes 3-12:Dr Crokes secured an All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Ballymun Kickhams on February 16th as London’s Tir Chonaill Gaels were put to the sword in Ruislip. Crokes encountered few obstacles on their way to a 15-point win against the Gaels, who were aiming to become the first London side to win an All-Ireland quarter-final.
Two months on from winning their 14th London title, the Gaels’ lack of match practice was clearly evident. Dr Crokes, who were playing for the 11th time in 12 weeks, showed no signs of fatigue as they won without even having to threaten to approach fifth gear.
Although Johnny Buckley pointed for Crokes inside the opening minute, Tir Chonaill Gaels actually got off to the kind of start they were hoping for. The London champions enjoyed plenty of possession early on and didn’t appear overawed, with a brace of points from corner-forward Kevin McMenamin sending them into the lead.
But Crokes gradually settled into the game. Points from Chris Brady, Brian Looney and Colm Cooper had the Kerry side 0-4 to 0-2 in front by the 12th minute and their superiority was never in doubt from there.
Man of the match Kieran O’Leary hit their first goal, which was followed by another from Brady in the 23rd minute that left a 10-point gap between the teams. Tir Chonaill Gaels were out of their depth and, just before half-time, Cooper played in Brady for his second goal and the Munster champions took a 3-7 to 0-3 lead into the break. Game well and truly over.
With the contest already settled, the second half resembled a challenge match despite the best efforts of Tir Chonaill Gaels to put a more respectable complexion on the scoreboard. McMenamin, Eoin O’Neill and Peter Sherry all registered scores for the Gaels, but Crokes were always comfortable as they cantered to victory and turned their attentions to tougher tests ahead in 2013.