Both the Kerry and Cork senior football championships were decided on Sunday, and two remarkable stories emerged from the day’s play.
First to Kerry, where Dingle arrived at Austin Stack Park yet again, fresh from a semi-final replay win over East Kerry last weekend. Despite their fine victory, they were underdogs against a dominant Dr Crokes side, and so it turned out.
The scoreline was kept respectable at 1-15 to 0-12 in favour of Crokes, but the champions held firm throughout the tie, earning their seventh county title since 2010, their 13th in all.
David Shaw was particularly influential in the first half, scoring three points to add to those of the likes of Daithí Casey, Gavin O’Shea and Tony Brosnan. Paul Geaney was among those who kept Dingle in the game at the break, continuing his good form from last week.
The two teams exchanged points throughout the second half, with Dingle maintaining the slight two-point gap to the lead, though Padraig O’Connor’s sending off would prove costly. Crokes’ significant breakthrough came from Gavin White on the 59 minute mark.
The goal and its timing put paid to Dingle’s fleeting chances, and Crokes went on to lift the Cup.
Over the county border in Cork, St Finbarr’s ended a mammoth 33 year wait for a Cork SFC title with a 3-14 to 2-14 win over Duhallow at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
They lost last year’s final, but the Barrs finally delivered on the biggest county stage.
It wasn’t without a mighty struggle however, as they often trailed Duhallow in a dogged contest. The North West side took a 1-3 to 0-2 lead within the first 15 minutes, and frequently held five to six point advantages throughout the opening stanza, adding a second goal through a Donncha O’Connor penalty.
Two late Barrs points cut the gap to three at the break, and they made further ground after the restart as they grew into the game.
Colin Lyons scored a goal within one minute of the second half to make it an even game, and they soon took the lead, one that they would seldom relinquish for the remainder of the game.
Duhallow briefly drew level, but an Eoin Finn goal ten minutes from time saw the Barrs edge three in front. From there, they kept that advantage, including during a tense three minutes of injury time.
The Andy Scannell Cup returns to the Togher side for the first time since 1985.