Dr Crokes 5-13
West Kerry 0-13
The second game of the Garvey’s Senior County Football Championship double header brought together the holders, Dr Crokes, and three-time winners, West Kerry.
The men from the west started brightly, as Jason Hickson scored from a tight angle inside 25 seconds to opening the scoring. Kerry senior Johnny Buckley levelled a minute later.
Despite the frantic start, scores dried up hereafter. Eanna O’Conchuir received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle, and was involved in the action again shortly after when he had the goal at his mercy—but put it wide.
A long, high ball into the West Kerry square caused consternation and Daithi Casey rounded the goalkeeper and finished to the net. 1-2 to 0-1 after eleven minutes.
West Kerry, through Eanna O’Conchuir, pegged Crokes back with a score, despite the football not being the most free-flowing.
Dara O’Sé scored form a close in free to reduce the gap to two, after Sean Michael O’Conchuir was sandwiched. O’Sé had another chance to score but kicked wide from a good angle, leaving Dr Crokes ahead 1-2 to 0-3.
Colm Cooper got his first score from a free, following a foul on Michael Burns. Brian Looney followed it up from play to open the gap to four points.
Dr Crokes wing back Gavan White then sliced through the West Kerry defense and slotted it over from 14 yards.
West Kerry were struggling, and they were let off the hook when Michael Burns smashed the crossbar with Tomas Mac An tSaoir beaten. Going forward, Eanna O’Conchuir pointed for West Kerry to keep the scoreboard ticking over. 1-5 to 0-5.
Tony Brosnan tagged on another, following poor play in the West Kerry defense. As the clock ticked on towards half time, Dr Crokes added two further scores to lead 1-8 to 0-5.
Michael Burns then ran through on the West Kerry full back line and would have scored, were it not for fantastic defending from PJ Hand. However, Crokes had ace forwards all over the field—Brian Looney tapped it over from 30 years. 1-9 to 0-5.
West Kerry were doing themselves no favours, hitting seven wides in the first half. It got worse for them when Jason Hickson received his second yellow card for a high tackle—West Kerry down to 14 men.
Half time, Crokes leading 1-9 to 0-5
West Kerry had a great chance to get off to the best start in the second half, when Sean Michael O’Conchuir was set up for a great goal chance. However, he blasted wide.
It was game over shortly afterwards; Colm Cooper decided to place the ball into the top corner of the net and that was that, 2-9 to 0-5.
Sean Michael had another chance directly afterwards but John Payne kept Shane Murphy’s goal intact with a goal-saving tackle. He added a point from play shortly afterwards, and then added another from a free.
The game began to fade out, with both sides making a number of substitutions. Ten minutes into the second half, Dr Crokes were ahead 2-10 to 0-7.
Sean Michael O’Conchuir scored from underneath the stand to reduce the deficit, 2-13 to 0-8. Shane Murphy in the Crokes’ goal was impressing with his kick outs, while their forward play was exemplary.
Sean Michael was trying his best; he kicked another free.
There was still plenty of goalmouth action: Tomas Mac An tSaoir saved from point-blank range, while Eanna O’Conchuir blasted over the bar at the other end for West Kerry. Despite being down to 14 for the entirety of the second half, West Kerry were trying their best to stay in touch, 2-13 to 0-11.
Sean Michael tagged on another, his sixth of the game, to leave seven between the sides.
The game ended as a contest when Crokes’ Paul Clarke got a hand to a high ball and found the net, and seconds later, Jordan Kiely found the net again. The holders ahead by 4-13 to 0-12 with two minutes remaining.
Jordan Kiely got his second goal before the final whistle, Crokes’ fifth goal.
Dr Crokes go through to the final, easing up towards the final whistle. On this performance, South Kerry will have their work cut out for them in the final.
Dr Crokes 5-13
West Kerry 0-13
Crokes selector Harry O’Neill
West Kerry manager Paul Quinn