Ruthless Corofin blow St Brigid's away to claim seventh title

Corofin captain Alan Burke and teammates celebrate their victory in the Connacht GAA Senior Club Football final against St Brigid's at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada, Carrick-on-Shannon, on Sunday. 		Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Corofin captain Alan Burke and teammates celebrate their victory in the Connacht GAA Senior Club Football final against St Brigid's at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada, Carrick-on-Shannon, on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Heading out from Dunmore on the way to Carrick-On-Shannon early on Sunday afternoon we recognised the car in front of us going at a good auld pelt.

It was our next door neighbour from home in Caherhugh, Belclare - former MEP and TD Mark Killilea, who, close to 80 years of age, was ploughing down the back roads of Galway and Roscommon to see Corofin show St Brigid's (Roscommon ) that the defeats of 2011 and 2006 were to be fully avenged.

There was indisputable intent in the way Killilea and most other Corofin supporters were heading to Carrick last weekend. And that attitude and mind-set was mirrored in the way that Kevin O'Brien's team came out onto the field and how they roared into the game.

The team's raw emotion and cold-blooded intent was seeping from under the door of their dressing-room before they even crossed the whitewash.

There was serious business to be completed and no argument was going to be considered, or prisoners taken.

The Shane McGettigan Trophy was to be heading back up the road to Raftery's and Canavan's that evening, and the current panel of players wanted their names etched into the club's history books as the men who won the Connacht club title for a seventh time.

The game was as good as over at half time with the score 1-8 to 0-3, and the final score of 2-13 to 0-5 was kind to St Brigid's as they were like a punch drunk fighter near the end. If another five minutes had been played, the margin might have been closer to 20 points.

Even as it was, Mayo referee Jerome Henry blew up during play just as man-of-the-match Michael Farragher was bearing down on goal with options on either side of him. Another goal was a distinct possibility.

Corofin top-class

Corofin produced a splendid performance, from impressive goalkeeper Bernard Power who hit some stunning restarts, right up to corner forward Ian Burke whose link play and pace was so hard to curtail.

However it must be said, and was acknowledged by St Brigid's manager Frankie Dolan, that his team never got out of the blocks at all. They looked a zillion miles off the team that won the All-Ireland club final in March 2013.

With Corofin totally in the zone from the throw-in and moving like well oiled machines around the pitch, they were 0-4 up after only a few minutes, and it was clear which team was going to advance to an All-Ireland semi-final against Dr Crokes of Killarney.

The Corofin defence was totally dominant and never looked like conceding a goal with Kieran Fitzgerald and Cathal Silke doing very well in a two man full-back line in the first half.

Midfielder Ronan Steede had a really powerful game and is in a terrific vein of form at the moment, and looks to be enjoying his football and his partnership with the powerful Daithí Burke.

The Corofin forwards did as they wanted for the full 60 minutes, with Michael Farragher proving once again that he is one of the top forwards in Galway. Hopefully he will be wearing the county colours next season after Corofin's All-Ireland campaign ends.

Date with Dr Crokes

Kerry champions Dr Crokes had an 18-point win in their Munster final with The Nire last weekend and no doubt Colm Cooper, Daithí Casey, Johnny Buckley, Fionn Fitzgerald, Eoin Brosnan, Ambrose O' Donovan and Tom Brosnan will provide a stern examination of Corofin's All-Ireland credentials, probably in Limerick in 12 weeks' time. The game is fixed for Saturday February 11.

However, this week is not about looking that far ahead for the Corofin players, management team and supporters. It is about enjoying the moment, and the sweet feeling of success, satisfaction and fulfilment in winning a seventh provincial title.

The clubs first Connacht title was 25 years ago in 1991 when Corofin defeated Clann na nGael.

Now, a quarter of a century later, the clubs are joint top in the Connacht roll of honour with seven titles each.

It has been a golden era for Corofin football and one that does not look likely to end any time soon.

Corofin: B Power, C Silke, K Fitzgerald, C Cunningham, K Molloy, L Silke, C McGrath, D Burke, R Steede, G Sice, D Wall, J Leonard, M Lundy, M Farragher, I Burke. Subs used: B O’Donovan for Molloy (47 ), Alan Burke (cpt ) for Cunningham (50 ), D Canney for Leonard (54 ), K Murphy for Wall (56 ), G Higgins for L Silke (56 ), J Canney for I Burke (58 ).

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