Myers the unlikely hero for Dr Crokes
Dr Crokes 2-8 Kilmurry-Ibrickane 0-13: Following a one-point win at Quilty yesterday, the reward for Dr Crokes of Kerry is a Munster club semi-final place against Clonmel Commercials.
But the champions from the Kingdom were put to the pin of their collars to eke out a victory against a gallant, if a tad unlucky Kilmurry-Ibrickane who put in a storming last quarter performance only to come up short at the whistle.
Amongst the 1,924 crowd in attendance was newly appointed Clare manager, Kerryman, Mick O’Dwyer and he must have been impressed with the attitude of the three-in-a-row Clare champions who looked dead and buried at the end of the third quarter of this exciting contest. Two fine saves in either half by Crokes’ goalkeeper David Moloney helped in no small way to achieve the win, a fact alluded to by team joint-manager Vince Casey after the final whistle.
“David made two superb saves. In the first few minutes, after we got the goal, they went down the field and he made a brilliant low save. Then in the second half he tipped the ball over the bar brilliantly,” said Casey.
The early Crokes goal he referred to came in the fourth minute when Colm “Gooch” Cooper flicked on a Daithí Casey free-kick into the top of the Kilmurry net. Cooper had already opened his side’s account with a point from a close-in free, cementing the Kerry team’s early dominance.
But an unyielding Kilmurry outfit never panicked and once settled, began to exert an amount of pressure at midfield. Peter O’Dwyer was immense alongside Enda Coughlan and by the 24th minute the sides were level at 1-2 to 0-5.
Kilmurry were pressurising and breaking down Crokes’ passing game. A chance to go in front was spurned by Noel Downes when his point attempt fell harmlessly into the arms of goalkeeper Moloney. He began a sweeping movement that yielded a Johnny Buckley score at the other end to ensure Dr Crokes led 1-4 to 0-5 at the interval.
The Kerry outfit began the second half in impressive fashion and early points from Chris Brady and Jamie Doolan increased their merited lead.
Then, wing forward Brian Looney landed a massive blow for his team by notching a goal and a point inside a minute.
He kicked a massive point from out on the right sideline before firing a low shot past Peter O’Dwyer in the Kilmurry goal after 42 minutes.
Yet, it didn’t faze the hosts and a whirlwind last quarter saw Kilmurry outscore Crokes 0-8 to 0-1. Substitutes Mark McCarthy and Séamus Murrihy combined for a pair of points and veteran Odhran O’Dwyer, when introduced to the edge of the square, posed all sorts of problems for the Kerry full-back line.
Murrihy’s score should have been a goal but goalkeeper Moloney brilliantly turned his shot over the bar.
The Clare champions added points by Shane Hickey, Enda Coughlan and Ian McInerney (a free) to leave it 2-7 to 0-10 with five minutes left.
Crokes wing back Shane Myers kicked a vital point against the run of play with four left and even though Kilmurry registered the last three scores through McCarthy, Noel Downes and McInerney, Dr Crokes held out for a hard-earned victory.
DR CROKES: D Moloney, J Payne, M Moloney, F Fitzgerald, S Myers (0-1), E Brosnan, L Quinn, S Doolan, J Buckley (0-1), K O’Leary, D Casey (0-1), B Looney (1-1), C Brady (0-1), C Cooper (1-1), J Doolan (0-2). Subs: A Dennehy for Looney (51), G OShea for Casey (53). KILMURRY: P O’Dwyer (0-1); McMahon, D Hickey, S Hickey (0-1); T O’Connor, P O’Connor, D Callanan; P O’Dwyer, E Coughlan (0-1, free), I McInerney (0-5 frees), M O’Dwyer, E Talty, N Hickey, J Daly (0-1, free), N Downes (0-1). Subs: M McCarthy (0-2) for N Hickey (half-time), O O’Dwyer for Talty (half-time), S Murrihy (0-1) for Daly (42), C Donnellan for T O’Connor (43). Referee: C Lane (Cork)