Corofin glide into All-Ireland final against Slaughtneil

Kieran Fitzgerald, Corofin, in action against Tomás Quinn, St Vincent's, in the AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship semi-final, Corofin v St Vincent's in O'Connor Park, Tullamore, Co Offaly. 
Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Kieran Fitzgerald, Corofin, in action against Tomás Quinn, St Vincent's, in the AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship semi-final, Corofin v St Vincent's in O'Connor Park, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Corofin will head to Croke Park in four weeks time on St. Patrick's day for the All-Ireland club finals for only the second time in the club's history, after producing a storming display last Saturday in Tullamore to defeat St. Vincents' on a score-line of 1-14 to 1-09.

It was a scintillating game of football all through the contest with some stunning displays sprinkled throughout the Corofin ranks.

Indeed, the quality of football produced in both All-Ireland club semi-finals last weekend was of the highest order and provided enthralling entertainment for all those lucky enough to have observed them first hand, or on television.

The fact that TG4 are doing such a fabulous job bringing all the club games to so many viewers each year, is a real godsend and the Slaughtneil and Austin Stacks game made for tremendous viewing - with Kieran Donaghy's absolute belter of a shoulder on Christoper Bradley in the last minute enough to make any spectator shudder in their seat.

The fact that Donaghy's team-mate Shane Carroll missed the resultant free which would have equalised the game, only added to the drama. It was much more enjoyable and exciting fare than most of what we watch now at inter-county level.

Unfortunately for Slaughtneil - Christoper Bradley suffered a broken collar bone in that collision and he will be a big loss for Mickey Moran's side in the final as he had linked an awful lot of play and had also shot three very fine points from play.

Corofin's manager Stephen Rochford is a very composed and erudite individual and he will know that his team are now going to be raging hot favourites for the final on the back of their top class performance last weekend.

The bookies have already installed the North Galway men as 3/10 favourites with the Derry men at 7/2.

Hence over the next few weeks Rochford and his management team will have to try to quell any silly talk around the parish and insulate his players from being told that they are the proverbial "sure-thing".

And that is the kind of chatter they players will hear at work and around the city and county following their explosive display against the current All-Ireland champions.

Real team effort

It was a real team effort that won the day. From Tom Healy in goal, up to their livewire corner forward Ian Burke.

If anything the margin of their defeat flattered the Dublin side as Ian Burke twice scored points when with a little more sangfroid he may have raised a green flag or two, and Gary Delaney rattled the crossbar with a penalty and St. Vincent's scored a goal from a penalty from that rebound.

In the last ten minutes there was only one team in it and Corofin's freshness and appetite for hard-work was there for all to see.

St. Vincent's had been undefeated in championship action for twenty-three months and that takes its' toll on a team.

Corofin had marvellous performances from the outstanding Michael Lundy who scored four points from play and scorched anyone who was marking him with his pace, and corner forwards Burke and Martin Farragher.

Between them they notched 1-10 from play which was some going.

Gary Sice also showed fabulous leadership, especially just before half-time with one or two great catches.

Defensively Kieran McGrath, Cathal Silke, Kieran Fitzgerald were excellent in the full-back line while Liam Silke did an impressive man-marking job on Diarmuid Connolly.

Greg Higgins and Alan Burke were not found wanting either.

It was a really top class display and the watching Kevin Walsh will be content that some of those Corofin players will add to the county mix for the last two rounds of the league against Roscommon and Kildare and the forthcoming Connacht championship.

All in all, it was a good day for Galway football.

Corofin: Tomás Healy, Kieran McGrath, Kieran Fitzgerald, Cathal Silke, Alan Burke, Liam Silke, Greg Higgins, Daithí Burke, Ronan Steede, Gary Sice (0-3, 3fs ), Michael Farragher (Cpt ), Gary Delaney, Martin Farragher (1-2 ), M. Lundy (0-4 ), I Burke (0-5, 1f ).

Subs: D Wall for Steede (53 ), C Cunningham for A Burke (60 ), J Burke for Martin Farragher (60 ), K Murphy for Michael Farragher (62 ).

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