Final is a must win for Crokes

16 February 2017

Harry O'Neill.
©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan.

Dr Crokes selector Harry O’Neill says that to banish the ghosts of previous All-Ireland club SFC semi-final defeats, they must win next month’s decider.

The Kerry champions qualified for another final when defeating favourites Corofin in the semi-final.

Semi-final defeats to Crossmaglen in 2012 and Ballymun the following year were bitter pills for Crokes to swallow.

Despite getting over the penultimate hurdle, O’Neill stressed to the Kerryman that it was essential to kick on in the final against Derry side Slaughtneil.

“If you don’t win one then those defeats will always be hanging over you. There was a lot made of the fact that we couldn’t get over this particular line and that we weren’t able for what was being thrown at us. It is brilliant to get over this one,” said O’Neill.

“When you get into the last four you are playing against top notch teams. Crossmaglen caught us with their intensity in the second half in 2012, Ballymun too.

“Against Corofin, we were ready for that. If you didn’t learn from three All-Ireland semi-final defeats then there’s something wrong. We learned. It is nice to have the monkey off our back. We were written off by practically everyone coming into this and we are delighted to be in an All-Ireland final.”

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