Dr Crokes march on past Clonmel Commercials
All-Ireland champions were too much for the Tipperary side in their Munster SFC clash
Tempers flair between Clonmel’s Liam Ryan and Micheal Burns of Dr Crokes. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Dr Crokes 0-14 Clonmel Commercials 0-8
All-Ireland club champions Dr Crokes remain in the hunt for another title after producing a power-packed second half display to dismiss the hopes of home team Clonmel Commercials.
Dr Crokes went into the game as heavy favourites at 1/6 with the bookies, but once again had to start without star forward Colm Cooper, apparently feeling the effects of the injury which prevented him lining out at the beginning of the previous weekend’s Kerry county final.
The first half made a mockery of those odds, however, as Commercials – the 2015 provincial champions – raced into an early lead and looked lively from the off, All-Star forward Michael Quinlivan getting one of their scores and generally pestering the Crokes defence.
By the end of the opening quarter the home team were 0-5 to 0-2 ahead, with other chances having gone a-begging to register an even greater lead.
The Kerry champions came back into things with three points in succession from Daithi Casey, Johnny Buckley and Tony Brosnan to tie things up by the 21st minute, but that was their last score before the break as Kevin Fahey and Ross Peters struck back for Commercials to give them a 0-7 to 0-5 lead.
They also had a couple of half-chances for goals, the best when Quinlivan sent a killer ball into Jack Kennedy but he just couldn’t turn properly and his attempt was stifled. They defended well too with Jamie Peters, Donal Lynch, Kevin Fahey and Kevin Harney all effective at closing down space as Dr Crokes persisted with their good build-up play.
Tony Brosnan started the second half with a quick point but Commercials were nearly in for a goal when Quinlivan found himself on the end of a sparkling move but his low shot was blocked brilliantly by John Payne.
Within a minute of each other Jamie Peters (black card) and Alan O’Sullivan (red card) exited the scene after falling foul of referee Kevin Murphy, as the tension increased.
But Crokes were able to pull ahead, despite being down in numbers, with points from Kieran O’Leary and sub Jordan Kiely. Then Richie Gunne’s short-range score and five on the trot from Michael Burns, Johnny Buckley and Daithi Casey sealed the deal.
In fact, Commercials only scored one point in the second half, despite their extra man, and had to rue a number of wides when they badly needed scores.
Dr Croke’s: S Murphy; J Payne, M Moloney, L Quinn; S Doolan, F Fitzgerald (0-1), G White; J Buckley (0-2), A O’Sullivan; M Burns (0-3), G O’Shea, B Looney; T Brosnan (0-2), D Casey (0-3), K O’Leary (0-1).
Subs: J Kiely (0-1) for B Looney (36), P Clarke (0-1) for T Brosnan (42), E Brosnan for M Burns (61), A O’Donovan for K O’Leaery (61).
Clonmel Commercials: M O’Reilly; J Peters (0-1), L Ryan, D Lynch; K Fahey (0-1), D Madigan, K Harney; S Kennedy, J Kennedy (0-1); P Looram, J Lonergan, I Fahey; R Peters (0-1), M Quinlivan (0-1), E Fitzgerald (0-1).
Subs: L Moore for J Peters (32), R Gunne (0-1) for E Fitzgerald (40), R Lambe for I Fahey (54), A Lonergan for R Peters (54).
Referee: Kevin Murphy (Cork).