Corofin round off their year with u-21 success

Corofin received some measure of consolation after their Connacht senior club championship defeat to Castlebar Mitchels when they collected the county u-21 A title after defeating old rivals Salthill/Knocknacarra by 3-11 to 1-11, at Pearse Stadium at the weekend.

Three of the winning side, Ian Burke, Liam Silke and Tom Healy, had already collected senior county medals, and the u-21 success was a nice way to close out their year.

Salthill/Knocknacarra, under the management team of Kevin Johnson, Noel Tyrrell and Cian Begley, found their side under massive pressure in the full-back line, where they never got to grips with the pace and footballing ability of Ian Burke and Martin Farragher, and the proficient scoring of Seán Silke, who notched 2-2 from play in the first 40 minutes.

Corofin had powerful displays around the field apart from those three players, while joint captain and the powerfully-built Conor Keady gave an outstanding display at full-back.

Others to catch the eye in defence were Sean O'Boyle, Stephen Burke and Kieran Molloy, who is still a minor.

Around the middle Pakie Coen and Aaron Murphy won a lot of ball, and young Brian Raftery did really well, hitting two fine points from distance when he came on for Liam Silke who had to be replaced after breaking his collar bone in an accidental collision.

Wing-forward Dylan Wall also scored a terrific goal and he is a young player who has improved enormously over the season.

Salthill tried hard with little reward and, while team captain Gearoid Canavan did make a few dashes up the field to try to rally the troops, they struggled to make inroads against a well organised Corofin rearguard.

The city team was behind by 2-6 to 1-3 at half-time, and it would have been much gloomier only for a superbly taken goal by wing-back Eoin Hughes who raided with style from number seven just before half time.

Salthill did rally a little after the interval, but they never looked like gaining parity despite a few points from play by full-forward Sean Hughes, Mattie Heskin, and two from frees from Gearoid Armstrong.

When Sean Silke struck for another major after good play by Farragher, and Ian Burke notched a few nice scores from frees, there was going to be no way back for the home side.

In the end Corofin were comfortable winners and county football chairman Tadhg Ó Conghaile presented the trophy to joint team captains Conor McNamara and Conor Keady.

Corofin: T Healy, C Langan, C Keady (cpt ), S O'Boyle, C McNamara ( cpt ), S Burke, K Molloy, P Coen, L Silke (0-1 ), D Newell, S Silke (2-2 ), A Murphy; D Wall (1-0 ), M Farragher, I Burke (0-5, 0-4f ). Subs: B Raftery (0-2 ) for L Silke 15mins (inj ), O Mannion (0-1 ) for Newell 47mins; G Murphy for S Silke 50mins.

Salthill/Knocknarra: R Burke; E Wynne, J Killeen, C O'Connor; G Canavan (cpt ), R Butler, E Hughes (1-0 ); M Kitt, M Heskin (0-2 ); A Butler (0-1, 0-1f ), R Conlon (0-1 ), S O Leidhinn; G Armstrong (0-3, 0-3f ), S Hughes (0-3, 0-2f ), E Duffy (0-1 ). Subs: E Gavin for Killeen 46mins; P Kitt for Duffy 56mins.

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