Silke strike secures Connacht crown

Corofin's Micheal Lundy and Jason Leonar with the Shane McGettigan Cup after winning the  Connacht Senior Club Football Championship final against Padraig Pearses at Tuam Stadium.

Corofin's Micheal Lundy and Jason Leonar with the Shane McGettigan Cup after winning the Connacht Senior Club Football Championship final against Padraig Pearses at Tuam Stadium.

Favourites Corofin claimed their fourth Connacht title in a row on Sunday afternoon in Tuam Stadium, overcoming Roscommon's Padraig Pearses by 1-10 to 0-7.

The Galway champions produced another measured and controlled performance against a defensive minded Pearses' side.

November does not usually produce football for the purists, but above all else every Corofin player seems to possess game management skills which are much admired.

Padraig Pearses enjoyed the opening score, but after that, bar a five-minute spell early in the second half, Corofin controlled the game. The simplicity of how Corofin played, especially when in possession is enjoyable. Whether it is a kick pass or hand pass nobody stays still; pass and move, pass and move.

When Corofin were under pressure half way through the second half and the sides level 0-6 a-piece, it was exactly like the semi-final win against Ballintubber. Liam Silke secured possession around midfield, passed the ball to Leonard, who kick-passed to Burke, while Silke had continued his run through the middle without a hand ever being laid on him. Silke then received the ball from Burke and calmly put it in the back of the net - a good move and finish - and again, similar to the semi-final, all too easy for Silke.

This 43rd minute goal rattled Pearses, but it was Jason Leonard’s point from the resulting kick-out that started to kill the game. In less than a minute this had gone from a draw game with the Roscommon champions looking strong, to a four-point lead for the reigning champions.

Leonard’s point was followed by the introduction of Darragh Silke and Colin Brady. With Brady playing in a new defensive role, his pace and positioning helped the Corofin defence see out the game, while he managed to pop up with a point for himself too before Leonard finished the scoring with his third of the day.

After conceding the first two scores of the second half, Corofin had needed a score and influential midfielder Ronan Steede answered the call by kicking a magnificent score from near the side line with the outside of the left boot.

With respect to Padraig Pearses, they had gone into this game knowing they could not afford to play all-out attacking football against Corofin, so with a different plan, they had hoped to grind out the win.

It was negative football and negative tactics (crowding around the Corofin players and referee whenever a foul was given, mouthing and trying to get a reaction ), but until the goal was scored, they were right in the game and were starting to get on top, having scored four of the five points in the second half.

Pearses could easily have been ahead at that stage had Ronan Daly not blazed his effort wide. That miss seemed to kick the Galway champions into gear and they reeled off 1-4 without reply to collect their fifth Shane McGettigan Cup in six years and 10th in total.

Another All-Ireland semi-final now awaits Corofin on January 5 against the winners of Nemo Rangers v Clonmel Commercials who play in the Munster final on December 1 in Fraher Field, Dungarvan.

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