Munster club SFC final: Cooper off as Crokes survive major scare

December 01, 2013

Colm Cooper of Crokes with Sean Chaplin and Barry Duggan of Cratloe
©INPHO/Donall Farmer
Dr Crokes (Kerry) 0-13
Cratloe (Clare) 0-12

Dr Crokes have been crowned Munster club football champions for the third year in succession, but only after surviving an almighty scare from Cratloe at the Gaelic Grounds.

In an incredible finish, massive underdogs Cratloe - who had trailed by 0-3 to 0-10 at half-time - edged into a 0-12 to 0-11 lead thanks to a David McInerney free. With their talisman Colm Cooper having been sent off on a second yellow card minutes earlier, the Kerry kingpins looked to be in big trouble, but they refused to panic as first Daithi Casey equalised and then Johnny Buckley landed a late winner to break Cratloe hearts.

The first-time Clare champions got off to a flying start with early points from Enda Boyce and captain Sean Chaplin. But they failed to score again until just before the short whistle as Crokes reeled off 10 unanswered points to take a commanding lead into the break.

After Kieran O'Leary and Brian Looney had brought Crokes level, Casey gave them the lead for the first time. Colm Cooper added two more points to extend their advantage. By the time Alan O'Sullivan kicked their 10th point, the Killarney men already looked to be out of sight, despite registering eight wides compared to Cratloe's two.

But Colm Collins' charges refused to give up the ghost and gradually clawed their way back into contention after the restart, with Clare hurling stars Cathal McInerney, Conor McGrath and Podge Collins playing key roles. A succession of scores from McInerney, McGrath and Fergal Lynch had narrowed the gap before Cooper was given his marching orders with 10 minutes remaining.

The scores were level with the 60 minutes up, but the 14 men dug deep and Buckley's point 30 seconds from the end completed the three-in-a-row.

Dr Crokes - D Moloney; K Ward, F Fitzgerald (0-1), J Payne; L Quinn, E Brosnan, M Moloney; A O'Donovan, J Buckley (0-1); A O'Sullivan (0-2), D Casey (0-2, 1f), B Looney (0-2); K O'Leary (0-1), C Cooper (0-4, 1f), G O'Shea. Subs: M Burns for O'Shea, D O'Leary for Ward, S Doolan for Quinn.

Cratloe - P Deloughrey; D Ryan, B Duggan, S Chaplin (0-1); M Murphy, M Hawes, E Boyce (0-1f); F Lynch (0-1), C Ryan; S Collins (0-1), C Duggan, L Markham (0-1); C McInerney (0-5, 2f), P Collins, C McGrath (0-2). Subs: P Chaplin for McInerney.

Referee - C Lane.

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