Football Board chairman Barry O'Brian pictured presenting the trophy to Moyle Rovers captain Alan Campbell following last week's county senior football championship final. Photo: Eamonn McGee
Newly-crowned Tipperary senior football champions Moyle Rovers crashed out of the Munster club championship when they were out-classed by Dr Crokes of Killarney at Ardfinnan on Sunday afternoon.
AIB Munster Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final
Moyle Rovers 0-8 Dr Crokes, Killarney 3-15
While the defeat was not unexpected, the manner of the 16-point trouncing at the hands of the Kerry kingpins will be a huge disappointment to the Monroe club. They always knew that they had a mountain to climb against a club which has just placed three county titles together in the Kingdom, but a litany of errors and some serious ill-discipline added to Rovers’ already mammoth task.
Poor starts have been haunting them all year long, but Rovers opened well and were only 0-3 to 0-2 down after eleven minutes when disaster struck in the form of Crokes’ first goal. A kick-out which was won by Rovers was recycled backwards and across goal when a fumble by Paddy Morrissey saw Tony Brosnan take possession and his simple pass across the goalmouth was palmed home by Crokes full-forward Kieran O’Leary.
Having opened with three frees, the Crokes suddenly found their kicking boots and further points from Daithí Casey and Micheál Burns had them 1-5 to 0-3 up when Rovers lost their star forward Liam Boland for a needless retaliatory push on Crokes captain John Payne after nineteen minutes. Suddenly the mountain was even steeper.
It was Boland who had kicked Rovers’ first point of the game after three minutes and two further points from the inspirational Richie Power had kept the Tipp champions in the hunt, but the heads went down after Boland’s unnecessary black card.
By the 23rd minute the Kerry champions were seven clear after further points from the lively Burns and David Shaw, but Rovers struck back with two of their own inside a minute - both from centre-forward Dara Ryan who put in another superb showing.
The second Kerry goal was again poorly conceded. An effort at a point from Johnny Buckley came in low and between defender and ‘keeper Moyle Rovers failed to deal with it and Kieran O’Leary touched home his second goal to finish the game off as a contest. The same player added a point a minute later as the sides went in at the break at 2-8 to 0-5 in favour of Pat O’Shea’s side.
More bad fortune awaited Rovers on the resumption when an opening minute move saw them carve open the Crokes defense only for Stephen Quirke’s goal-bound shot to come back off Diarmuid Foley with the Kerry ‘keeper beaten.
Tony Brosnan’s fourth free of the afternoon opened the second half scoring before Rovers were reduced to fourteen men in the 39th minute. A good move saw Shane Foley bursting through the Crokes defense, but after he lost possession the referee adjudged that he had struck out at a player while on the ground and brandished a red card. Carrauntoohil now seemed small compared to the mountain Rovers had in front of them.
A Kieran O’Leary point stretched the lead to eleven points as both sides began to ring the changes for different reasons and it was one of Moyle Rovers substitutes Seán Carey who kicked their first point of the second half sixteen minutes after the re-start. Indeed, the whole of the second period would produce just four scores for Moyle Rovers - the others came from Seán Carey, Riain Quigley and a late effort from 45 meters from the hard-working Ross Mulcahy.
Five minutes from time Dr Crokes' Micheál Burns took a second yellow card after a flare-up with Ross Mulcahy in which the Rovers man was also booked - his side's sixth yellow card of the day to add to the black and the straight red.
Dr Crokes tagged on their third goal in the 57th minute when the pace of Tony Brosnan took him in around the Rovers flank and he unselfishly presented substitute Michael Potts with another palmed effort past a helpless Ciarán Kenrick.
Moyle Rovers: Ciarán Kenrick, Patrick Morrissey, Alan Campbell, Tadgh Fitzgerald, David McGrath, Ross Mulcahy (0-1), Luke Boland, Richard Power (0-2), Stephen Quirke, Morgan Irwin, Dara Ryan (0-2), Aidan McGrath, Liam Boland (0-1), Shane Foley, Danny Owens. Subs: (18th) Jack Harney for Morrissey, (19th black card) Diarmuid Foley for Liam Boland, (44th) Riain Quigley (0-1) for Quirke, (45th) Seán Carey (0-1) for A McGrath, (49th) Ben Owens for Luke Boland.
Dr Crokes, Killarney: Shane Murphy, John Payne, Michael Moloney, Fionn Fitzgerald, David O'Leary, Gavin White, Shane Doolan, Johnny Buckley, Daithí Casey (0-1), Micheál Burns (0-4), Gavin O'Shea, Brian Looney, David Shaw (0-1), Kieran O'Leary (2-2), Tony Brosnan (0-7, 0-6 frees). Subs: (21st) Alan O'Sullivan for Moloney, (40th) Colm Cooper for Shaw, (44th) Michael Potts (1-0) for Doolan, (45th) Jordan Kiely for Buckley, (47th) Jason Lyne for D O'Leary, (52nd) Mark O'Shea for K O'Leary.
Referee: James Bermingham (Cork).