Corofin do enough as quest for seven consecutive county titles begins

Gary Sice of  Corofin is chased by Alan O'Connell of  Tuam Stars in action in round one of the Galway Senior Football Championships.

Gary Sice of Corofin is chased by Alan O'Connell of Tuam Stars in action in round one of the Galway Senior Football Championships.

Group one

St Michael’s defeated newly-promoted An Spideal at the weekend putting the Westside team top of group one with the only win in the group on the opening weekend.

An injury time score from Gearoid Armstrong gave Salthill what appeared to be an unlikely draw with Bearna after they had been in front since the 20th minute thanks to a goal from Oisin O Ghormaile.

The game of the weekend came in Tuam on Saturday evening when Milltown and Killererin played out an incredible 4-10 to 3-13 draw. With Killererin nine points up heading into injury time, Milltown scored an unanswered 2-3. Goals from Sean Blake and Darren Mullahy deep into injury time, followed by another point by Sean Blake in the 10th minute of injury time ,secured the unlikely draw.

Group two

The stand-out group of the weekend included a superb performance by a young Claregalway team, the return to football of Paul Conroy, and the beginning of Corofin’s quest to equal the record of seven consecutive county titles.

In the first match in Kenny Park, Claregalway were full value for their 3-11 to 0-12 win over Annaghdown. Annaghdown were missing Galway captain Damien Comer, along with Ciaran Duggan and Frankie Burke. Lining out at wing back Galway U20 Conor Campbell took control of the game early on with his accurate passing and added with three scores.

Having been on the back foot early on, two quick-fire goals from corner back Darragh Whelan and full forward Danny Cummins put Claregalway in control before half-time. Being named at centre forward, but drifting out, Sean Moran dominated large portions of the game at midfield. Annaghdown slowly pulled their way back into the game, but Claregalway scored 1-3 in the space of five minutes to put the game to bed, with the final goal being scored by Mark Rohan.

Corofin did what was needed to win their opening game against Tuam, building a 1-11 to 0-5 lead at half-time with Michael Farragher scoring the goal for Corofin.

Corofin were never in top gear, but this was a huge improvement on Tuam’s championship performances from 2018. Most impressive was Jamie Murphy who shot 0-9 with five from play.

The other game in this group gave St James a huge win over Leitir Mor, winning 3-14 to 0-08. The main talking point of this game was the return of Paul Conroy almost a year after his horrific double leg break. Scoring 1-5 all from play, he certainly returned with a bang and in turn has himself back in contention for Galway’s Connacht final in three weeks' time.

Group three

Without Michael Daly, Barry Mchugh and Eoin Finnerty, Mountbellew were largely expected to still have too much for Monivea, and that proved true with the returning Joe Bergin also playing his part. Monivea produced a great start and went four points up, thanks to a goal from Paddy Mullins. They were soon pulled back when five minutes later a goal from Andy Barrett put Mountbellew ahead.

Both sides were level 1-4 at half-time, Mountbellew showed why they are likely to be Corofin’s toughest challengers for the Frank Fox trophy. Scoring eight points and only conceding one, they put themselves in a strong position to get through the group.

Moycullen defeated Killanin by a single point, 4-6 to 1-14, despite playing the second half with 14 men after the dismissal of Gareth Bradshaw. Outscoring Moycullen 1-8 to 1-1 in the final 15 minutes, Killanin nearly pulled the game back after a disappointing opening half where they conceded 3-4.

In early game of group three, An Cheathru Rua defeated Caherlistrane 2-7 to 1-7, thanks to goals from Maccormac and O Griofa. The loss of Cormac Bane early on to injury proved too much for Caherlistranem but An Cheathru Rua were fully deserving of their win.

Intermediate Championship results

Group A:

Clifden 0-09 Oughterard 0-09

CLG Michael Breathnachs 2-11 Kilkerrin/Clonberne 0-10

Group B:

Headford 3-13 Caltra 0-04

CLG Carna-Caiseal 3-7 Williamstown 1-11

Group C:

Kilconly 2-11 Oranmore-Maree 1-14

Corofin 5-14 St Gabriels 0-07

Group D:

Dunmore McHales 1-16 Menlough 1-10

Cortoon Shamrocks 1-07 CLG Oileain Arann 0-10

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