The Clocks went back but Crokes went forward

October 29th, 2012
by Weeshie Fogarty

The clocks went back on Sunday last to mark the official introduction of winter time, but it did not deflect Crokes from their mission to continue as Kerry SFC champions, when they proved far too good for Dingle in a one sided final at Tralee, winning easily 2-13 to 0-8

Their plan to winter well as 3 in a row champions was secured in a devastating 80 second spell just 10 minutes in to the game. Gooch  did not write the orchestral score; that has been written and updated over 126 years by numerous club persons, many of them both Croke and Kerry stars, but equally so by so many more ordinary club members, who continue to realise the dream of the club founders, 'The 19 Dangerous Dreamers'. The baton change in Tralee was seamless; no slip up; no stumble in this 126 year interchange.Goochdirected the musical score , pinpointed passes to Chris Brady and to Brian Looney to raise two green flags and more or less left the scoring to team mates, while he worked so hard in the engine room of the Croke voyage.. He did pop over three minors. Game on for Crokes; match outcome over as a contest.

Yes,it was that clinical as Crokes made every post a winner from  throw-in aided by the very strong breeze blowing in to the Horan's end of the Austin Stack Park.There was little Sean O Flaherty  could do about it only retrieve the leather from the net and it might well have been a third retrieval only for Eoin Brosnan miscuing on the edge of the square ,after a terrific trademark surge from deep within his own half.Full credit to this young team from Daingean Uí Chúis. Naive maybe, as one would expect in their first county final in over 6 decades, but certainly honest and full of integrity. Mort Moriarty's day will come with this young side; he will now plan for the county league final v Crokes in Dingle on a TBC date. Much will depend on Crokes campaign in Munster.

Billy O Connor

Mind you Crokes did not dominate midfield ,as was expected. Dingle's big full forward, Billy O Connor did not get any goals on this occasion, but he did make his presence felt by moving outfield for the kick outs.However, the Crokes defence was well able to snuff out any Dingle incursions and proved once more that not alone are Crokes good up front, but they also have a very tightly controlled defence. No point running up a big score if you leak scores at the back. After an uncertain start, Smiler controlled the front of goal giving David Moloney plenty of cover. The whole sextet did well, but leader of the pack was Eoin Brosnan. Éamonn Fitzmaurice wants him to give Kerry one more year. The Kerry boss was impressed on Sunday sitting alongside his fellow selectors Mikey Sheehy and Cian O Neill. Diarmuid Murphy was encouraging his Dingle club mates.Breandán O Céilleachair did his utmost to stem the Crokes attacks and up front I thought Mikey and Paul Geaney did best. David Moloney was never tested in the Crokes goal while Sean O Flaherty could do absolutely nothing about the two pile drivers that whizzed past him.


Game stats reveal Crokes dominance. 8 points up after 10 minutes 2-4 to 0-2, they still led 2-6 to 0-5 at the interval and even with the strong breeze in the second half Dingle fell further behind to lose 2-13 to 0-6. Crokes had 22 shots at the posts, scored 2-13, kicked six wides and one dropped short. Dingle on the other hand only managed 14 shots, scored 0-8, kicked six wides and overall.

Personal Highlights
Some personal highlights include the following;
My favourite piece of play for sheer determination and complementary skill was Kieran O Leary's point just before half time. He won a great ball right in front of us in the stand side, went down the right wing riding tackles of 3 Dingle players, had to solo left and right, before squeezing over a most unlikely point from the narrowest of angles. Then there were those wonderful catches by Billy O Connor, when he moved out temporarily from full forward to midfield for the kick outs. What about Looney's and Brady's spectacular goals and the energy of Myers' display.

For the record these were the teams and scorers;

Dr Crokes -- D Moloney; J Payne, M Moloney, S Doolan; S Myers, E Brosnan, L Quinn; A O'Donovan, J Buckley; K O'Leary, D Casey, B Looney; C Brady, C Cooper, J Doolan. Subs: G O'Shea for Brady (55), D O'Leary for Looney (57), J Jones for S Doolan (58), B Falvey for Casey, K Ward for Myers (both 59).

Dingle -- S Flaherty; T B Brosnan, J Murphy, G Curran; Paul Devane, B Kelliher, J B Brosnan; CB Moriarity, D O'Sullivan; R Begley, M Geaney, J Sheehy; P Geaney, B O'Connor, D Geaney Subs: A Devane for Murphy (17), Padraig Devane for Begley (h-t), B O'Connell for Paul Devane (37), J Kelliher for M Geaney (55), P Fitzmaurice for CB Moriarity (59).

SCORERS -- Dr Crokes: B Looney 1-3, C Cooper 0-3 (1f), C Brady 1-0, K O'Leary 0-2, L Quinn, A O'Donovan, D Casey, J Doolan, G O'Shea 0-1 each. Dingle: P Geaney 0-3 (1f), D Geaney, M Geaney 0-2 each, J Sheehy 0-1.

Referee Paul Hayes (Kerins O'Rahillys) gave his usual competent performance

What they said;
Noel O'Leary "It's up to themselves, how far they want to go. Do they want to sit alongside the fireplace at Christmas? Or do they want to drive on? I think they'll drive on."
"Maybe the occasion got to Dingle and the two early goals killed them off. The conditions wouldn't have suited them either, but thankfully we got through it",
"I'm delighted for the players and the supporters and the fellas who trained them when they were under-six and that were tying their laces for them. No one wanted this job; people said they were gone after the two in a row. These fellas aren't finished, they love football, and we'll keep enjoying it."

Colm Cooper  "The game fizzled out; it was like the All-Ireland final with the favourites getting two goals early on. That was a killer for Dingle who were trying to play catch up all day. Our experience told in the second half and to win three-in-a -row is a fantastic achievement for the club".

And from the Monday club function they said;

Patrick O Donohue (Club sponsor)
"We are delighted to sponsor Dr Crokes. The Gleneagle and INEC are national brand names and our decision to sponsor the club was based on commercial considerations. You can perform on the national stage also and that must be your goal from here on in."

Patrick O Sullivan (Chairman of Kerry GAA Board)
"Yesterday was a very emotional day for me presenting the Bishop Moynihan Cup to Kieran (0 Leary) and my own club which has been so much part of my life for all these years. Winning 3 in a row was very special"

Disappointment for Croke duo
Two of Crokes first team regulars in the starting 15 all year were unable to line out on Sunday last. Wing forward Andrew Kenneally was in New York on business commitments, while Fionn Fitzgerald was laid low on the day prior to the game with suspected 'pullus crudus'. Both are expected to be available for next Sunday's Munster decider.

Social Media
Facebook and Twitter were rich grounds for greetings to the Croke heroes. Former Dr Crokes player, Des Cahill set the ball rolling tweeting
Bother in the house. My son said, "Let's go to the Kerry Final". Good idea. Then he said,"I'll cheer for Dingle". I sent him to his room. Des Cahill, RTE (@sportsdesk)

Others on cyberspace included;
Darran O'Sullivan. Congrats to Dr Crokes on another county championship title & captain Kieran O Leary

Waterville GAA. Congratulations Crokes on your 3 in a row. Superb achievement. Well done also Dingle. Your day is coming too.

James Hurley. Congrats to all involved, great pride is held for this team in every Crokes person. Congrats to Brian Looney on his man of the match performance. In Frankfurt watching it with pride.

Roisin Fitzgerald. This is what it's all about. 3 in a row!

Rheanne O'Shea. There's only one black and amber

Andrea Leahy Hartnett. First night with the Bishop. Night folks. 

Sean Browne. Well done to everybody involved with DrCrokes three in a row.
Marc Clifford. Serious outfit 3 in row lads, unreal achievement, play great football! Any chance of RT? Best of luck in Munster. Crócaigh abu

Dan McCusker.
Well done, 3 in a row !! From a Down man celebrating with the boys from Dr Crokes.Munster next .

Paul Brennan. Well done to you on your third consecutive Kerry county SFC title. Application, industry and sheer skill is commendable.

Sargy O Leary. Trip to the seaside next week...I won't be bringing factor 15 though.

Mike O Halloran. Well done Crokes on 3 in a row joining Ballyduff ;here's to 4 in 2013.

My lovely Rose of Clare
The Croke challenge moves on to lovely Clare on Sunday next Nov. 4 for the AIB Munster GAA Football Senior Club Championship Quarter-Finals,Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare) v Dr. Crokes (Kerry) in Quilty @ 2:00pm.Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).Extra time if necessary.

Ever since they ran Crokes so close at Lewis Rd in last year's decider the Clare champions have been itching for a reversal of last year's narrow defeat. Crokes have been warned that the Clare men under John Kennedy, will be waiting in the long grass to set the record straight. The Quilty I know does not grow long grass, but the Kerry champions were left under no illusion of the task ahead and team boss Noel O Leary put it to the players that their destiny is in their own hands. "It will be very tough to win this one away from home, but if you really want to be in the shake up for St Patrick's Day 2013 you will have to graft together, as you have been doing, and anything less than that will determine what Christmas will be like for the Crokes." He continued." I am asking all of our supporters to wear the black and amber with pride when we cross the Shannon on Sunday. Contact the club officers for travel arrangements and booking on the supporters buses", said the Big Fella, the towering midfielder from the 1992 All Ireland winning team.

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