Corofin do enough to book semi-final place

Galway county football champions Corofin went to Ruislip with one job and one job only - qualify for the upcoming All-Ireland semi-final for the sixth time in the club's history.

They did that by virtue of an uninspiring 0-9 to 0-2 victory over Tir Chonaill Gaels on a heavy, slippery, and wet Ruislip pitch on Sunday.

It was a poor game from an entertainment perspective, epitomised by the 0-2 to 0-1 scoreline at half time.

The London champions played a lot of players behind the ball and the much-vaunted Corofin forward division found it almost impossible to break them down in the first 30 minutes.

They shot seven wides in that first half and lacked any real penetration up front with Ian Burke and Martin Farragher finding it difficult to keep their feet, or make any headway against a packed defence and a playing surface that was far from ideal.

Corofin should have scored a goal in the second quarter too, which would have settled them and put four points between the teams, but team captain Michael Farragher, who has enjoyed a fine season, decided to shoot instead of laying the ball into the hands of the unmarked Ronan Steede, who had an empty net at his mercy.

It was that kind of day for Stephen Rochford's men and it was only in the second half with five points (0-3fs ) from Gary Sice and some sterling play from the powerful Greg Higgins and some nice layoffs from Ian Burke and Michael Lundy that Corofin took control and eased themselves to a seven-point victory.

Regular full-back Kieran Fitzgerald, who injured his ankle slipping in the soft underfoot conditions, is expected back to full fitness after the few weeks rest.

Having qualified for the All-Ireland semi-final on February 14/15, Corofin will face current All-Ireland champions St Vincent's who had an easy 1-12 to 0-6 win over Rhode (Offaly ) in the Leinster final.

The Corofin management team and squad will be fully aware that this tie against the three-times All-Ireland champions will be a big step up in class.

St Vincent's have some superb players such as current Dublin stars Diarmuid Connolly and Ger Brennan, and former players such as Eamon Fennell, Mossy Quinn, Michael Savage, and former Sligo star Brendan Egan.

It is 10 weeks now until that All-Ireland semi-final and last Sunday's game will have faded totally from the memory banks by then.

They had a job to do and they did it.  Move on. Bigger and tougher challenges await them.

Corofin: T Healy; C McGrath, K Fitzgerald, C Cunningham; G Higgins, A Burke, L Silke; D Burke (0-1 ), R Steede; G Sice (0-6 ), M Lundy, Michael Farragher (cpt 0-1 ); Martin Farragher (0-1 ), G Delaney, I Burke. Subs: P Kelly for Fitzgerald (inj ), D Wall for Michael Farragher, J Canney for Martin Farragher, A O'Donovan for I Burke, B O'Donovan for Silke.


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