Dr Crokes 1-21 St Joseph's Miltown Malbay 2-09
Dr Crokes reaffirmed their position as Munster kingpins after easing to their fifth provincial senior club title this decade in the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon.
There was perhaps a sense of inevitability about the result after the Kerry champions blazed into a nine point advantage inside the opening 12 minutes, with David Shaw's third minute goal initiating a 1-06 unanswered rally that left newcomers St Joseph's Miltown chasing the tie in vain for the remainder.
The West Clare side did eventually settle with an Oisin Looney goal entering the second quarter to lower the arrears to five but that was as good as it got for Miltown Malbay as the Crokes were always able to keep their opponents at arm's length.
Ten different scorers highlighted the superior balance of the more experienced Kerry side, with six of those getting in on the scoring action in their decisive early blitz that saw Gavin O'Shea, Daithi Casey, goalkeeper Shane Murphy, Tony Brosnan and Kieran O'Leary build on Shaw's 1-1 haul.
Miltown Malbay finally opened their account through Kevin Keavey in the 13th minute but despite adding a goal through Looney, Dr. Crokes were in full control of their own destiny as points from Daithi Casey (who also flashed a goal chance wide of the far post), Brian Looney and Tony Brosnan matched like scores from Clare seniors Eoin Cleary and Kieran Malone to take a 1-10 to 1-04 lead into the dressing rooms.
Crokes turned the screw on the restart when outscoring Miltown by 0-4 to 0-1, thanks to Brosnan, Looney, Casey and Micheál Burns to restore a nine point cushion by the two-thirds mark at 1-14 to 1-05.
So while the Clare champions, led by impressive midfielder Conor Cleary, never lowered their heads at any stage, as evidenced by Darragh McDonagh's injury-time goal, it was merely a consolation as Dr. Crokes were full value for their eighth Munster crown.
Dr. Crokes: Shane Murphy (0-01, 0-01'45); John Payne, Michael Moloney, Fionn Fitzgerald; David O’Leary, Gavin White, Shane Doolan; Johnny Buckley (0-01), Daithi Casey (0-03, 0-02f); Micheál Burns (0-02), Gavin O’Shea (0-01), Brian Looney (0-02); Tony Brosnan (0-07, 0-05f), Kieran O’Leary (0-02), David Shaw (1-01)
Subs: Michael Potts for Doolan (39), Colm Cooper for Looney (44), Alan O'Sullivan for Moloney (48), Jordan Kiely (0-01) for Shaw (49), David Naughton for D. O'Leary (55), Brian Fitzgerald for Burns (58)
St Joseph’s Miltown: Sean O’Brien; Enda O’Gorman (0-01), Gordon Kelly, Eoin O’Brien; Colin Hehir, Aidan McGuane, Jamesie O’Connor; Oisin Looney (1-00), Conor Cleary; Kevin Keavey (0-01), Brian Curtin, Kieran Malone (0-02); Eoin Cleary (0-03, 0-02f), Darragh McDonagh (1-02), Cormac Murray
Subs: Micheál Murray for Hehir (28, inj), Eoin Curtin for Keavey (HT), Graham Kelly for O'Connor (43), Sean Malone for B. Curtin (49), Euan Reidy for McGuane (55), Gerard Malone for C. Murray (59)
Referee: Alan Kissane (Waterford)