Tuesday 14 August 2018

Cooper inspires Crokes back to showpiece

Colm Cooper of Dr. Crokes celebrates at the final whistle. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Colm Cooper of Dr. Crokes celebrates at the final whistle. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

All-Ireland Club champions Dr Crokes, inspired by the genius of Colm Cooper, cruised into yet another Kerry SFC final with an emphatic 5-13 to 0-14 win over a youthful West Kerry side at Fitzgerald Stadium in the second SFC semi-final on Saturday.

West Kerry's cause was not helped when they lost livewire forward Tomás Ó Sé through injury and then just before half-time Jason Hickson collected an unnecessary second yellow card and with 14 men for the entire second half they never had a chance.

A goal from team captain Daithí Casey in the ninth minute in the build-up gave Crokes a 1-2 to 0-1 advantage. Brian Looney and the impressive Micheál Burns ensured Crokes led 1-9 to 0-5 at half time.

Then Cooper displayed some of his sorcery three minutes after the restart when he spotted the West Kerry defenders arguing with the referee and he rifled the ball into the top corner past Tomás Mac an tSaoir.

When Crokes ran their young bench, things got worse for West Kerry as substitute Jordan Kiely netted two goals and Paul Clarke added another for a 14-point win.

They will face South Kerry in the final on October 22 as Bryan Sheehan inspired his side to a 0-12 to 1-8 win over Kerins O'Rahilly's. This was a slow-burner despite an early goal from a Jack Savage penalty set up by Tommy Walsh, who later had to limp from the fray.

Sheehan, though unable to convert frees due to a groin injury, kicked three points from play while Daniel Daly added three more.

But the tie was in the balance until substitute Ian Galvin gave them the lead from a free and Kerry fullback Mark Griffin made it two in injury time. Barry John Keane got one back but missed a long range free to force as replay.

Ireland manager Joe Kernan will have to plan without former skipper Sean Cavanagh for next month's International Rules series in Australia. Cavanagh has retired from inter-county football with Tyrone, but was nevertheless invited by Kernan to join his international squad.

But yesterday's Tyrone Intermediate Championship win by Moy means the club goes forward to the Ulster championship, and could be involved up until late November, when the final is scheduled.

Moy's success is also likely to rule Cavanagh's younger brother Colm out of the Rules series.

Wexford have appointed Paul McLoughlin as their new senior football manager.

The former Kildare player has been handed a three-year term, taking over from Seamus McEnaney, who resigned after just one year in charge.

McLoughlin will be taking up his first senior post, having managed the Model County at minor level.

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