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10th Nov 2019

David Clifford stars as East Kerry slay Dr Crokes in Tralee thrashing

Patrick McCarry

David Clifford

East Kerry 2-14, Dr. Crokes 1-7

There will be no return to Croke Park, and no tilt at a third All-Ireland club title, for Dr Crokes.

East Kerry, inspired by Darragh Roche and Clifford brothers, David and Paudie, had too much in the tank for Crokes and claimed the Kerry club football championship at a canter.

The first half, played out in front of a crowd of over 8,200 at Austin Stacks Park in Tralee, was a tight enough affair but East Kerry were more clinical in scoring positions. Evan Cronin, and the Clifford brothers helped East Kerry into a 0-8 to 0-5 scoreline at the break.

Cronin stretched the East Kerry lead to four points, early in the second half, before his side were reduced to 14 men. Pa Warren was given his marching orders after picking up two yellow cards.

David Clifford sensed that his side needed to drive home their dominance with a goal and he duly stepped up, two minutes after Warren was sent off, to score a pile-driver:

Dr Crokes were then reduced to 14 men when Mark O’Shea was given a straight red card. East Kerry accumulated points to make it 1-11 to 0-6 before David Clifford was the provider for a cooly taken Roche goal that all but sealed the contest.

With just under 15 minutes left in the final, Gavin White netted for Crokes to spark some life back into his side. They needed the next score but, instead, it was Clifford and then Roche with two fine points from play to swing the tide back towards East Kerry.

In the closing stages, with the game all but lost, Mike Moloney was sent off for Crokes as their dreams of a 14th Kerry championship faded. Padraig Doyle popped over the final score of the game to ensure the East Kerry winning margin was double figures (10 points).

David Clifford finished with 1-3 and a goal assist as East Kerry won a county title for the first time in 24 years. Austin Stacks now go on to represent Kerry against Nemo Rangers in the Munster championship.

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