Kerry team mates Killian Spillane and Gavin Crowley scored 0-5 for the winners
COUNTY SENIOR CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP GROUP B ROUND 2
Dr. Crokes 1-6
The last time Dr Crokes went down to Templenoe they came away after a hard defeat that left their Club Championship hopes effectively in tatters, having to win a relegation match against their neighbours Killarney Legion just to retain their senior status.
On Saturday evening a resolute Templenoe team repeated the trick, this time with a one-point win that almost, but not quite yet, secures their place in the semi-finals.
Dr Crokes, desperate for the win after their first round defeat to Kerins O'Rahillys the previous weekend, got off the mark early, the outstanding Micheál Burns firing over a beauty of a point. Templenoe replied instantly, though, as a foul on Adrian Spillane saw Aidan Crowley open their account.
Templenoe pressed successfully on Crokes’ kick-out early on as further points followed in rapid succession from Killian Spillane (two frees) and Patrick Clifford. Templenoe were more direct than Crokes at this stage, with Killian Spillane always dangerous inside, and were fully deserving of their 0-5 to 0-01 lead.
Dr Crokes were only warming up their engines, though, and they eventually burst into life. Neil O’Shea, Evan Looney, and especially Burns were to the fore, but unsurprisingly it was sharpshooter Tony Brosnan who provided the cutting edge He slotted over a free won by Cillian O’Regan, then forced a great save out of Mark Looney, before firing over the rebound from a very tight angle. At the water break Templenoe still led by 0-5 to 0-3, but knew that they were in a contest now!
The game only got better – both sides played great football. Cian McMahon, the latest in a long list of talented corner forwards from the Killarney sides’ production line, landed a couple of scores and it was level pegging and all to play for.
In a game where defences were solid and well organised on both sides, decent scoring chances were few and far between, with some superb defending by Crokes’ Fionn Fitzgerald and Gavin Crowley for the host club. Killian Spillane did latch onto a great long ball by Crowley and fist over the bar to give Templenoe the slightest lead after a pulsating first half, 0-6 to 0-5.
Stephen O’Sullivan almost stretched the Templenoe lead on the restart, but Mark Cooper made a superb block. It was only a brief interruption, though, as Aidan Crowley smoothly converted the ’45’ to put two points between them.
Back came Crokes, veteran Daithí Casey grabbing a great long ball out of defence and cleverly slipping it to McMahon for a superb goal top make it 1-5 to 0-7, and put Crokes in front for the first time in the game.
Gavin Crowley was having the proverbial stormer, and kicked a great equaliser from distance, but Templenoe were left rueing a great chance after Josh Crowley Holland picked out Adrian Spillane on the burst, but Crokes goalkeeper Shane Murphy was out fast to narrow the angle and it ended up inches wide – a real let-off.
Just before the second water break, Mark Casey fired over and to edge the home side in front by 0-9 to 1-5.
Bodies were tired now in a deadening heat but neither side was giving an inch. Michael Potts held his nerve to curl over a beauty to level the score again, but Templenoe – driven on by the partisan home support – weren’t done just yet and Aidan Crowley kicked what turned out to be the winning score in the 61st minute, from a superb free kick from long distance.
Dr Crokes needed the points more than the home side, given their defeat last weekend and Templenoe’s win. In fairness, they gave it everything, but saw a couple of late efforts all curl wide of the target, as Templenoe might qualify for the semi-finals before they kick a ball again depending on results elsewhere.
TEMPLENOE: Mark Looney, Michael Hallissey, Kieran O’Neill, John Rice, Patrick Clifford 0-1, Tadhg Morley, Gavin Crowley 0-2, Seán Sheehan, Adrian Spillane, Mark Casey 0-1, Josh Crowley Holland, Colin Crowley, Stephen O’Sullivan, Aidan Crowley 0-3 (2f, 1’45), Killian Spillane 0-3 (2f).
DR CROKES: Shane Murphy, John Payne, Neil O’Shea, Michael Potts 0-1, Mark Cooper, Fionn Fitzgerald, Evan Looney, Mark O’Shea, Cillian O’Regan, Micheál Burns 0-1, David Shaw, Brian Looney, Tony Brosnan 0-2 (1f), Tom Doyle, Cian McMahon 1-2. Subs: Daithí Casey for Tom Doyle (half-time), Cillian Fitzgerald for Mark Cooper (49 mins), Gavin O’Shea for Brian Looney (51 mins).
Referee: Brendan Brosnan (Glenflesk)