Sunday 17 December 2017

Brosnan goal just what doctor ordered


Dr Crokes continued their relentless march to a third provincial decider in a row as they carried too much firepower for a gallant Clonmel Commercials side.

The Killarney men had to start this semi-final without midfielder Ambrose O'Donovan (broken finger) at their own rain-lashed Lewis Road venue, and this saw Kerry minor Gavin O'Shea come in at corner-forward, while Daithi Casey moved to join Johnny Buckley at midfield.

Clonmel lost three key players before the start – Eamon Hanrahan, Fergal O'Callaghan and the biggest loss of all, Michael Quinlivan.

Crokes, with Buckley, Michael Moloney, Eoin Brosnan, Kieran O'Leary and Colm Cooper pulling the strings in the opening half with the elements behind them, raced 0-10 to 0-2 clear by half-time.

Clonmel, who had been competing well, needed to turn possession into scores in the second period, but they were limited by the hosts' rearguard, and Brosnan's superb 52nd-minute goal was the clinching score.

Early on, with Buckley a towering figure, Crokes rattled off a succession of points from Cooper (four), Buckley, Casey and Chris Brady, as they led by 0-7 to 0-2 after 18 minutes, with an Ian Barnes free and a fine effort by the excellent Eamon Kennedy Clonmel's response.

Crokes then lost Casey when he was concussed after an accidental collision; this resulted in Shane Doolan coming in at centre-back and Brosnan going to midfield.

It didn't knock the Kerrymen off their stride and scores followed from Cooper, Luke Quinn and Brady.

Cooper converted another free a minute into the second period before Clonmel grabbed three unanswered points from Ian Barnes, Richie Carroll and Alan Lonergan, which had the visiting support crying out for a goal.

However, what followed was a Crokes goal admiringly described later by Clonmel manager Philly Ryan as "a great goal, a thing of beauty, they worked it well".

It was a fine move in the 52nd minute when O'Leary, Jamie Doolan, Brian Looney were involved as they played in Buckley and he floated a ball to the back post where Brosnan fired to the net.

Crokes joint manager Vince Casey was delighted afterwards.

"Guys showed great character. We just drove on from there," he said. "It was a great performance in the conditions."

Ryan added: "We're all very proud of the lads. We know it's a learning process for this team. Their average age is 22/23, all young fellas. In three or four years, if they want to be back, they will be back on this stage again and they'll be competing well."

Scorers – Dr Crokes: C Cooper 0-8 (6f), C Brady 0-3 (1f), E Brosnan 1-0, L Quinn, D Casey, J Buckley, 0-1 each. Commercials: I Barnes 0-2, J Harney, R Carroll, S Kennedy, A Lonergan 0-1 each.

Dr Crokes – D Moloney; J Payne, M Moloney, F Fitzgerald; L Quinn, E Brosnan, S Myers; D Casey, J Buckley; K O'Leary (c), C Brady, B Looney; G O'Shea, C Cooper, J Doolan. Subs: S Doolan for Casey (inj, 16), A Kenneally for O'Shea (45), D O'Leary for Brady (inj, 50), K O'Leary for Looney (57), K Ward for Quinn (58).

Clonmel Commercials – E Comerford; F Condon (c), D Lynch, D Madigan; K Harney, S Kennedy, S Taylor; A Matassa, I Fahy; L Moore, J Lonergan, R Carroll; I Barnes, J Peters, J Harney. Subs: A Lonergan for Carroll (37), S Buckley for Fahy (50), B O'Hara for Moore (55), C Walsh for Matassa (60), C O'Connell for J Lonergan (60).

Ref – M Collins (Cork)

Irish Independent

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