Dr Crokes make Kerry final after Cooper and Fitzgerald see red
Kenmare District pip Rathmore by a point to make first final since 1987
Colm Cooper scored four points for Dr Crokes before being sent off in the Kerry SFC semi-final in Killlarney. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Dr Crokes 1-15 Dingle 0-15
Dr Crokes, despite the red-carding of intercounty stars Colm Cooper and Fionn Fitzgerald, grabbed a narrow victory over Dingle in a tight Kerry SFC semi-final in Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney on Sunday.
Crokes’ better spread of scorers was the difference in the end and Eoin Brosnan’s second-half goal was vital as Pat O’Shea’s side advanced to yet another final.
Crokes’ experience was another telling factor in a game where at times Dingle looked the better side but just could not turn possession into scores despite the best efforts of Paul Geaney and Tom O’Sullivan.
Crokes were forced to defend in the final minutes as Dingle went in pursuit of a match-winning goal and Colm Cooper, already on a yellow, received a black card while in injury-time Fionn Fitzgerald received a second yellow.
Dingle had two points each from wing back Tom O’Sullivan and two frees from Conor Geaney while Paul Geaney punched a point and Crokes goalkeeper Shane Murphy had to make a brilliant save to deny Barry O’Sullivan a certain goal.
It was nip and tuck in the second half with points from Cathal Bambury and Paul Geaney levelling the contest while Cooper and Brendan Kelliher swapped points. The goal that decided the contest came in the 38th minute when Crokes veteran Eoin Brosnan finished to the net and Crokes had enough guile to just hang on and reach another final, their first since 2013.
But Dingle will view this as one that one that got away.
DR CROKES: S Murphy (0-1, a 45); J Payne, M Moloney , F Fitzgerald; G White (0-1), A O’Sullivan. D O’Leary; E Brosnan (1-0), J Buckley; D Casey (0-2), G O’Shea, B Looney (0-2); C Cooper (0-4, one free), K O’Leary(0-2), T Brosnan(0-1).
Subs: M Burns (0-1) for B Looney (BC, 37 mins), J Kiely for T Brosnan (39 mins), A O’Donovan (0-1) for E Brosnan (39 mins), M Milner for G O’Shea (48 mins).
DINGLE: GH Curran; TL O’Sullivan, P O’Connor, G Curran; M Flaherty ,B Kelliher (0-1), T O’Sullivan (0-2); B O’Sullivan, D O’Sullivan; P Devane, M Geaney (0-1), C Geaney (0-5, one free); A O’Connor (0-1), P Geaney (0-3, one free), C Bambury (0-2).
Subs: G Hickey-Brosnan for G Curran (half-time), T Sheehy for C Bambury (57 mins).
Referee: S Joy (Laune Rangers).
Kenmare District 0-20 Rathmore 0-19
Two late points from Kerry’S All-Ireland minor winning captain Sean O’Shea were enough to gain Kenmare District a first final place since 1987 when they edged out Rathmore in a thrilling second semi-final at Fitzgerald Stadium.
Kenmare District looked the better side in the opening half as they raced 0-9 to 0-5 clear after 20 minutes thanks to some excellent scores from wing back Patrick Clifford, Adrian Spillane (0-3) and Paul O’Connor with three more while Brendan O’Keeffe kept Rathmore in touch with some accurate free taking.
By the 29th minute further points from Clifford, Spillane and O’Connor had Kenmare District six clear but three late first-half points from Kerry seniors Paul Murphy, Aidan O’Mahony and Shane Ryan left three points between the sides at the interval as Kenmare District led 0-13 to 0-10.
Midway through the second half Kenmare had moved 0-18 to 0-12 in front and looked home and hosed thanks to some excellent scores from Tadgh Morley, O’Connor, Steven O’Brien and Killian Spillane but Rathmore rallied and were unlucky with a number of goal scoring opportunities, but two points from Mark Reen and three from Brendan O’Keeffe closed the gap to just a point with less than five minutes remaining.
Shane Ryan tied the game at 0-18 apiece in the 56th minute but Kenmare District responded with two late points from Sean O’Shea. Back came Rathmore in injury time and Shane Ryan drilled the ball wide of the near post as Rathmore claims for a free fell on deaf ears. Paul Murphy had the final chance of redemption for Rathmore but his goal-bound effort was turned over the top though Rathmore claimed a foot block.
Kenmare District will play Dr Crokes on Sunday next in the county final but they may have play without man of the match Adrian Spillane (hamstring) and Brian Crowley (shoulder) through injury.
KENMARE DISTRICT: K Fitzgibbon (Kenmare); D Crowley (Kenmare), G Crowley (Templenoe), K O’Neill (Templenoe); P Clifford (Templenoe) (0-2), D O’Shea (Kenmare), J Spillane (Templenoe) (0-1); T Morley (Templenoe) (0-1), P O’Shea (Tuosist) (0-1); S O’Shea (Kenmare) (0-2), A Spillane (Templenoe) (0-3), T Doyle (Templenoe); S O’Brien (Kenmare) (0-1), P O’Connor (Kenmare) (0-7, three frees), K Spillane (Templenoe) (0-2).
Subs: B Crowley (Templenoe) for P O’Shea (42 mins), F O’Sullivan for A Spillane (58 mins), P Spillane for K Spillane
RATHMORE: P McCarthy; MJ Kelliher, J O’Sullivan, C Jenkins; P Murphy (0-2), A O’Mahony (0-1), TJ Friel; Daniel O’Sullivan, C Murphy; G O’Keeffe, M Reen (0-3, all frees), B O’Keeffe (0-7, six frees); J Moynihan (0-2), E Lawlor, S Ryan (0-3).
Subs: B O’Leary for T J Friel (15 mins), M Ryan (0-1) for Daniel O’Sullivan, Donal O’Sullivan for M J Kelliher (both half-time), C O’Sullivan for Donal O’Sullivan (48 mins), C Kelly for B O’Keeffe (59 mins).
Referee: B Griffin (Clounmacon).