Charlestown’s interest in the All Ireland series ended with a whimper in Fr O’Hara Park on Sunday, the Mayo champions were comprehensively out played in every area of the field over the sixty minutes as Corofin claimed their second Connacht title in a row. There was no comfort in home advantage for the Sarsfields club men when Martin Duffy brought the game to an end as Corofin toyed with them in the dieing stages of the contest. Kieran Comer was the star of the show, the Corofin captain kicked exactly half of his sides 2-14 and picked up the man of the match award for a real captains display.
Things just never started for Charlestown, as they were pinned back in their own half by a terrier like display from the Galway champions, and the short passing game Charlestown tried to play out of the back only compounded their inability to make any kind of attacking inroads as Corofin looked like they would have the game wrapped up before half time. Three minutes into the contest Corofin landed their first body blow Gary Sice and Michael Farragher combined well up the right flank, to play in Joe Canney. The tricky full forward then played an inch perfect pass into the path of Comer who slipped the ball to the back of the net from close range. The Galway men were winning every single personal battle on the field and were running riot, Comer added his first point for the afternoon on ten minutes, but Corofin were missing more than they were converting and could have had two more goals only for brilliant last ditch blocks by Charlestown full back Darragh McMeel. Mark Cafferey roused the home fans for the first time with a fine score on 16 minutes, but two quick scores through Comer and Farragher reestablished the visitors lead. Richard Haran chipped in with a point with nine minutes left in the half as Charlestown finally got some sort of hold on a game that was about to pass them bye even at that early juncture. But Comer once again came to the fore to land a huge score from out on the left flank. But with half time approaching the home side found some urgency and Tony Mulligan was unlucky not to bag a goal when he fielded a high ball in, and Mark Caffery clipped over a point at the end of that move. Richard Harran pointed a fine score to cut the gap to just three at the break, but unfortunately for the east Mayo men, half time came just as they were getting on top.
Having managed to come back after looking like they would be over-run by the visitors early on, the second half promised to be an ding don encounter, but it wasn’t to be as the Galway men outscored their hosts by 1-10 to 0-3 in the final 30 minutes. Whatever was said in both dressing rooms at the break, it had the desired effect on Corofin but the opposite of it on Charlestown. The opening twenty minutes of the half saw Cororfin hit six unanswered points with Comer running riot kicking four, three of them in a row and Joe Canney chipping in with two, before Haran free got the host’s first score of the half, it was just a matter of counting down the clock for those in yellow and green in the final ten minutes, as they eased off the gas but still managed to score a stunning second goal through Gary Sice. Sice broke down the left and played the ball into Canney at pace the full forward then hand passed it back into the path of Sice who continued his run and had the easy task of finishing it to the back of the net. It was a fitting end to a stunning display by the Galway champions who now go on to test themselves against the best that Ulster can offer in the spring.
Corofin: Kieran Comer (1-7, 4f ), Joe Canney (0-2 ), Gary Sice (1-0 ),Ger Higgins (0-1 ), Michael Farragher (0-1 ), Alan O’Donovan (0-1 ), Ciaran McGrath (0-1 ) Shane Monaghan (0-1 ). Charlestown: Paul Mulligan (0-3, 1f ), Richard Haran (0-3, 1f ), Tom Parsons (0-1 )
Corofin:David Morris; Gary Delaney, Damien Burke, Cathal Silke; Donal Keane, Tony Goggins, Gary Sice; Ger Higgins, Aidan Donnellan; Michael Farragher, Ronan Steede, Ciaran McGrath; Kieran Comer, Joe Canney, Alan Burke. Subs: Shane Monaghan for Keane (HT ), Alan O’Donovan for Farragher (53 mins ), Trevor Burke for Ronan Steede (56 mins ),
Charlestown: John Casey, Enda Casey, Darragh McMeel, David Caffrey; Dermot Higgins, Kevin Deignan, Colm Maye; Aidan Higgins, Tom Parsons; Martin Mulvanny, Mark Caffrey, Richard Harran; Paul Mulligan, Tony Mulligan, Ollie Conway. Subs: Brian O’Connell for Conway (41 mins ), Sean Morris for Maye (41 mins ), Michael Divilly for M Caffrey (53 mins ), Sean Lenaghan for E Casey (58 mins ), Eoin Gallagher for Mulvanny (58 mins )
Ref: Martin Duffy (Sligo )