Majestic Crokes too strong for Austin Stacks
Kerry champions complete a four-in-a-row
Dr Crokes Crokes captain Ambrose O’Donovan celebrates with the cup after the Kerry Senior Club Football Championship Final, Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.
Dr Crokes 4-16 Austin Stacks 0-11
Defeated Stacks boss, Stephen Stack summed up this latest Dr Crokes master class display of power and deadly finishing, with an admission that his side were simply outclassed by a superior force.
Dr Crokes became the first side since John Mitchels in the early 1960s to complete a four-in-a-row of Kerry senior football championships, at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney.
Stack remarked afterwards: “We played against a superior force today. The one striking aspect of the game today was that in the physical exchanges they dominated us. Whether it was in the break, in the tackle or on the burst, they were superior. That was the reason we lost today.”
Crokes were playing in their fifth final in a row simply toyed with the Stacks in the opening quarter, with Johnny Buckley and Eoin Brosnan driving them forward and with Kieran O Leary too quick for Daniel Bohan, and Fergal McNamara, unable to shackle Colm Cooper, it was all one way traffic.
Points from Brian Looney, Colm Cooper, (2), Daithi Casey and Johnny Buckley had Crokes 0-5 to 0-1 in front by the seventh minute. Stacks responded with points from Paul O’Donoghue and Shane O’Callaghan but the Crokes were moving with pace and menace.
Then five unanswered Crokes points between the 10th and 20th minutes really showed the difference between the sides, with Cooper getting three and Kieran O’ Leary with two, but the killer blow came in the 24th minute. Alan O’Sullivan found Colm Cooper with a superb cross field ball to the back post, and the Gooch, danced around his marker, before planting the ball in the Stacks net, to give Crokes a nine-point lead.
Despite a couple of Shane Carroll points, Crokes were 1-11 to 0-6 in front and Stacks needed to make a whirlwind start to the second half, if they were to turn this one sided affair, a contest.
However it was classy Crokes who killed the game off, as they struck for a brace of goals within five minutes of the restart, with Casey setting up Chris Brady for the first and then Casey again placing Kieran O’Leary, as the Crokes moved 3-11 to 0-7 in front and it was now exhibition stuff as their slick moves and incisive passing took Stacks apart.
DR CROKES: D Moloney; J Payne, L Quinn, K Ward (0-1); E Brosnan, F Fitzgerald, S Myers; A O Donovan, J Buckley (0-2); A O’Sullivan, D Casey (1-2, 0-1 free), B Looney (0-1); K O’Leary (1-4), C Cooper (1-4, 0-2 frees), C Brady (1-1). Subs: J Doolan for C Brady (46 mins), M Moloney for L Quinn (49 mins), D O’Leary for S Myers (50 mins), G O’Shea for A O’Sullivan (50 mins), S Doolan (0-1) for J Payne (55 mins).
AUSTIN STACKS: D O’Brien; F McNamara (0-1), D Bohan, J Dennis; P McCarthy, D McElligott, R Shanahan; B Shanahan (0-2), S Carroll (0-5, 0-4 frees); G Horan (0-1), P O’Donoghue (0-1), M Collins; D Long, K Donaghy, S Callaghan (0-1). Subs: D Mannix (0-1) for D Long (21 mins), T J Hogan for R Shanahan (37 mins), C O’Connell for D McElligott (39 mins), C Jordan for J Dennis (43 mins), W Kirby for S Callaghan (46 mins).
Referee: S Mulvihill (St Senan’s)