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Kate Stack second half goal helps Dr Crokes crack Scartaglin resistance and win Intermediate football title

Killarney club will play Limerick champions Monagea in Munster IFC quarter-final next weekend

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The Dr Crokes players celebrate after beating Scartaglin to win the Randles Brothers County Intermediate Football Championship Final in the Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday. Photo by Tatyana McGough

The Dr Crokes players celebrate after beating Scartaglin to win the Randles Brothers County Intermediate Football Championship Final in the Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday. Photo by Tatyana McGough

Siobhan Burns, Dr Crokes team captain, receives the Intermediate Championship cup from competition sponsor David Randles (right) and Tomas O Hanifein, Kerry Ladies Football Cultural Officer. Photo by Tatyana McGough

Siobhan Burns, Dr Crokes team captain, receives the Intermediate Championship cup from competition sponsor David Randles (right) and Tomas O Hanifein, Kerry Ladies Football Cultural Officer. Photo by Tatyana McGough

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The Dr Crokes players celebrate after beating Scartaglin to win the Randles Brothers County Intermediate Football Championship Final in the Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday. Photo by Tatyana McGough

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COUNTY INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

Dr Crokes 1-10

Scartaglin 1-6

Dr Crokes are county intermediate football champions after a hard-earned four-point win against Scartaglin before a decent crowd in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney in an entertaining final between two East Kerry sides that know each other very well.

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Dr Crokes won each half by two points, but it was Kate Stack’s goal at the three-quarter stage of a nip and tuck contest that threw the game in the Killarney team’s favour, and they were able to just about see out the win against a resilient Scartaglin side.

The Killarney club have been knocking on numerous championship final doors for over a quarter of a century – stalwarts like the great Catherine Keogh have been there all along and seen them win as part of amalgamated teams, but fall agonisingly short at the final hurdle as a stand alone Dr Crokes team. This afternoon, though, there was no holding the Black and Amber women back as a team with a great blend of youth and experience pulled out all the stops to raise some very welcome silverware.

Shauna Tangney was the main danger for Scartaglin and she opened the scoring from the throw-in after good inter-play. Sedhona O’Donoghue saw Crokes’ first effort gathered safely by the goalkeeper but won a free comfortably despatched by Rheanne O’Shea.

Scartaglin then got a fortuitous break when a speculative effort from Tangney had just enough power to squirm under Jessica Leahy and into the net for a goal to make it 1-1 to 0-1.

That was as good as it got for Scartaglin, though, as Dr Crokes started to take over. Rheanne O’Shea slotted her second point, and though her next attempt was well blocked, Kate Stack snapped up the rebound and fired over. An industrious Lara Hoare added another.

Scartaglin were pulling forwards back in an attempt to crowd possession, but Crokes’ defenders were happy to follow them, especially with Kayleigh Cronin sweeping majestically in the half back line. Kate Stack blazed a shot just over the crossbar – it could well have gone under. O'Shea added another free after Lara Hoare's effort was blocked and then another for a foul on Sedhona O'Donoghue. In truth, Crokes could have been out of sight at this stage, but spilled a few chances and had three drop short.

Scartaglin got their first score in twenty minutes after Tangney was fouled after a great catch, with Denise Dunlea slotting over the free. They almost added another on the stroke of half-time, but goalkeeper Jessica Leahy did well to make a high catch and clear her lines, leaving the half-time score Dr Crokes 0-7 Scartaglin 1-2.

Kate Stack opened the second half scoring for Dr Crokes straight away on the resumption. Denise Dunlea replied with a free after good work by Bríd Moriarty, who swung over possibly the best point of the game straight afterwards.

It was 0-8 to 1-4 in favour of Dr. Crokes, but for all their superiority in the possession stakes they were just that one point ahead, and Scartaglin were staying in the game and looking dangerous.

The next score was always going to be crucial, and it proved decisive as Kate Stack gathered a long ball and turned sharply before guiding the ball past a hapless Margaret Fitzgerald and into the net. Before Scartaglin could recover, Julie Delaney popped over a great score.

Denise Dunlea slotted over a free for Scartaglin, but impressive Dr Crokes substitute Leah McMahon, Dunlea's St. Paul's basketball team-mate, sliced through the defence with a mesmerising run before offloading to another St. Pauls' player and former Kerry ladies captain Amanda Brosnan for a clinching score.

Shauna Tangney picked off one last point for Scartaglin and Aoife Dunlea was unlucky to hit the post, but there was no stopping Dr Crokes en route to the title. They were long enough waiting for it.

They won't have long to rest on their laurels, though, with Limerick champions Monagea, who gave Castleisland Desmonds a great contest two years ago, awaiting them in the Munster IFC quarter-final next weekend.

DR CROKES: Jessica Leahy, Rocha Clifford, Karena O’Leary, Lillie Foley, Caolinn O’Donoghue, Kayleigh Cronin, Ciara Brannock, Siobhán Burns, Teresa O’Sullivan, Lara Hoare (0-1), Amanda Brosnan (0-1), Julie Delaney (0-1), Kate Stack (1-3), Rheanne O’Shea 0-4 (3f), Sedhona O’Donoghue. Subs: Leah McMahon for Caolinn O'Donoghue (h-t), Ava Sheehan for Lara Hoare (48 mins), Katie McCarthy for Sedhona O'Donoghue (53 mins).

SCARTAGLIN: Margaret Fitzgerald, Ellen Collins, Siobhan Collins, Rachel O’Sullivan, Katie Sugrue, Sarah O’Sullivan, Catherine O’Connor, Denise Dunlea (0-3, 3f), Aoife Dunlea, Emma Kerin, Leah Boyle, Abbie Brosnan, Bríd Moriarty (0-1), Shauna Tangney (1-2), Jane Lawlor. Subs: Katie Kerins for Katie Sugrue (20 mins), Niamh O'Connell for Emma Kerin (53 mins), Katie Sugrue for Jane Lawlor (55 mins).

Referee: Tadhg Murphy


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