Magnificent Corofin crowned All-Ireland champions again

That winning feeling: Corofin captain Michael Farragher with the Andy Merrigan Cup.

That winning feeling: Corofin captain Michael Farragher with the Andy Merrigan Cup.

St Patrick's Day 2015 will live long in the memory of Corofin players, management, and supporters all over the county and further afield.

It was the day, in front of a crowd of 29,792, the 17-year wait for a second All-Ireland title finally ended. At the final whistle, the scoreboard read Corofin 1-14, Slaughtneil 0-7, having led at half time by 1-8 to 0-3.

That scoreline and victory was the culmination of more than a decade of graft and commitment by fantastic football men such as Kieran Fitzgerald, Gary Sice, Alan Burke, Gary Delaney and Greg Higgins - to name but a few.

There have been tough days since the first title was delivered in 1998 by men such as Gerry and Ollie Burke, Eddie Steede and Tommie Greaney. All those four had either sons or nephews in action on Tuesday and the wheel of life keeps turning.

In Corofin, football and family are totally interlinked and now there is a new generation of stars for the youngsters of 2025 to try to emulate.

Just the way it is

This current panel is an exceptional club unit with stars all over the field - from the teak tough and pacey Ciaran McGrath at number two right up to young Ian Burke at top of the left.

Without doubt the best club outfit in Ireland, the forward unit has been a joy to behold over the past 15 months.

Galway star Micheál Lundy is the catalyst for much of the productivity, but both team captain Michael Farragher, his younger brother Martin, and Gary Sice and Ian Burke and Gary Delaney all play pivotal roles.

Their play is so in tune with each another it is a credit to the coaching and freedom that manager Stephen Rochford brings to the set-up.

The win yesterday was born in the unforgiving defeats in Connacht to St Brigid’s over the years and the All-Ireland semi-final defeats to St Gall’s and Kilmacud Crokes in 2009 and 2010.

Tuesday’s outstanding success is as a result of the hard work by the players over the past few years and not just the past few months.

They have been terrifically organised and prepared by the management team of Stephen Rochford and his selectors Kevin O' Brien, Trevor Burke and Ger Keane (who was also a selector in 1998 ).

The display of Daithí Burke and Ronan Steede at midfield on Tuesday was a joy to watch and both must have once again caught the eye of county manager Kevin Walsh. Their power and ball-winning ability will be needed come the summer for the county side.

More success

These players are ambitious, wanting more success, as highlighted by Belclare man and corner back Ciaran McGrath after the game. He is a player who showed remarkable resolve to come back from a bad leg break a few years ago to be shining on the team now.

“We look upon ourselves as a top, top team and the top teams win more than one. I’d be hoping we enjoy the next few weeks, embrace it, and go again like Vincent’s did and Crossmaglen and see can we produce more than one title with this team.”

Scorers for Corofin: G Sice 0-5 (4f ), Martin Farragher 1-0, M Lundy 0-3, Michael Farragher 0-1, G Delaney 0-1, Liam Silke 0-1 (1f ), R Steede 0-1, I Burke 0-1, J Canney 0-1

Corofin: Tom Healy; Ciarán McGrath, Kieran Fitzgerald, Cathal Silke; Greg Higgins, Alan Burke, Liam Silke; Daithí Burke, Ronan Steede; Gary Sice, Michael Farragher (cpt ), Gary Delaney; Martin Farragher, Michéal Lundy, Ian Burke. Subs: Dylan Wall for Martin Farragher (49 ), Justin Burke for R Steede (55 ), Michael Comer for C Silke (56 ), Conor Cunningham for G Higgins (56 ), Joe Canney for I Burke (58 ), Kevin Murphy for G Delaney (58 ).

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