Dr O Donoghue Cup Final.
Dr Crokes 1 – 18 Spa 1 – 07
Just over a year ago, these two sides met in a final that went down to the last few minutes, with Crokes just about doing enough to win. This year’s decider was over far earlier, as a blast of early scores from the defending champions left Spa resigned to their fate, well before the finish.
Spa had the first attacking raid of the final, but Mike McCarthy’s effort dropped harmlessly into the hands of Shane Murphy. After a few quick passes Daithi Casey launched a high ball in around the square. Tony Brosnan won the battle for it, and his hand pass allowed Mikey Casey the opportunity to palm into the net. It set up Crokes to dominate the first half. With man of the match Kieran O Leary dropping deep, and leaving space for Casey and Brosnan to exploit, they added a further four points to the goal, with Evan Looney and Daithi Casey joining Casey and Brosnan on the scoresheet. Evan Cronin eventually got Spa’s first score from a free. They continued to struggle to win their own kick outs, and only had thee Cronin points, one an outstanding strike, to show for their first half efforts.
Brosnan continued to torment the Spa defense after the restart, firing over two more great points. Shane Cronin’s powerful run created a goal for David Spillane, but a free for over carrying cancelled it out. David Shaw’s second yellow card forced Croke’s to play the rest of the game with fourteen men. It had little affect though, as the scored the next four points, with O Leary contributing two of them. Dara Moynihan’s late goal was of little consequence, and even though Brosnan and O Leary got red cards after a brawl in injury time, Crokes had done more than enough to deserve victory.
Afterwards, Fr. Paddy O’Donoghue was on hand to present the Dr O’Donoghue Cup to victorious Captain Mark O’Shea and the man of the match award to Kieran O’Leary.
DR CROKES: Shane Murphy, David Naughton, Mark Fitzgerald, John Payne, Evan Looney (0-1), Mark Cooper, Michael Potts (0-1), Mark O’Shea, David Shaw, Gavin O’Shea, Daithí Casey (0-1), Brian Looney (0-1), Tony Brosnan 0-8 , Kieran O’Leary (0-2), Mikey Casey (1-2). Subs: Cillian O’Regan 0-1 for Mikey Casey (39 mins), Tom Doyle for Michael Potts (39 mins), Chris Doncel 0-1 for Gavin O’Shea (46 mins), Micheál Burns for Daithí Casey (52 mins), Michael Moloney for Mark O’Shea (52 mins).
SPA: James Devane, Brian Lynch, Dan O’Donoghue, Shane Lynch, Ryan O’Carroll, Shane Cronin (0-1), Gary Vaughan, Liam Kearney, Ciaran Spillane, Conor Stack, Evan Cronin (0-5), Niall McCarthy, Cian Tobin, Mike Foley, David Spillane (0-1). Subs: Dara Moynihan 1-0 for Mike Foley (13 mins), Niall McCarthy for Mike McCarthy (27 mins), Eoin Fitzgerald for Shane Lynch (39 mins), Cian Murphy for Cian Tobin (42 mins), Michael O’Donoghue for Ciarán Spillane (55 mins).