Dr Crokes 2-11 Corofin 0-08
Dr Crokes from Killarney marched into the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final on St Patrick’s Day with a deserved semi-final win at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
A goal from Gavin O’Shea helped the Kerry champions lead by double scores, 1-07 to 0-05 at the interval.
And then when Corofin, All-Ireland champions two years ago, hit back after the restart, Crokes pulled away again with sub Jordan Kiely getting the decisive goal.
The Kerry outfit will meet Slaughtneil in the final.
Dr Crokes were on top in the opening half and led by double scores by 1-07 to 0-05 at the break.
There was element of fortune to the goal from Gavin O’Shea, son of manager Pat, but the Kerry side were well worth their lead.
Kieran O’Leary sent out a timely reminder to Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice with a superb display, shooting five points from play in the opening half.
He also set up the goal for O’Shea four minutes from the break when he kept an effort from Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper in play and passed outside to O’Shea, whose shot for a point dipped into the top right corner.
That put Crokes 1-05 to 0-04 in front after the Kerry side, who raced into a 0-03 to 0-00 lead after just three minutes, were hauled back thanks to efforts from Ian Burke, Michael Farragher, Jason Leonard and Gary Sice.
O’Leary continued to torment the Corofin defence and he stretched their lead after the goal with a point inside a minute.
And when Sice pulled back another free for the Galway champions, it was O’Leary who again struck for the Killarney side with his fifth point leaving them ahead by double scores at the interval.
Frees from Cooper and Daithi Casey extended Crokes’ lead after the restart but Corofin never gave up and Jason Leonard gave them hope with a point.
Dylan Wall then burst through for two points for Corofin to cut the gap to four going into the final quarter.
But Crokes responded in style with Daithi Casey soloing from deep inside his own half to bear down on the Corofin goal and set up Jordan Kiely to blast to the net.
Tony Brosnan and goalkeeper Shane Murphy with a free then put further daylight between as Crokes marched into the final.
DR CROKES: S Murphy (0-01, 0-01f); J Payne, M Moloney, F Fitzgerald; D O’Leary, G White, L Quinn; A O’Donovan, A O’Sullivan; J Buckley, G O’Shea (1-00), B Looney (0-01); C Cooper (0-01, 0-01f), D Casey (0-02, 0-02f), K O’Leary (0-05).
Subs used: S Doolan for White (29, blood sub), White for Doolan (half-time), M Burns for Looney (42), J Kiely (1-00) for O’Shea (48), T Brosnan (0-01) for Casey (54), Doolan for O’Leary (59), M Milner for Cooper (63)
COROFIN: B Power; C Silke, K Fitzgerald, L Silke; K Molloy, C McGrath, C Cunningham; D Burke, R Steede; G Sice (0-02, 0-02f), D Wall (0-02), J Leonard (0-02, 0-01f); I Burke (0-01), Michael Farragher (0-01), M Lundy.
Subs used: G Higgins for C Silke (36), A Burke for Molloy (38), B O’Donovan for Cunningham (49), C Brady for Wall (51).
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down).