Champions Corofin returning to Croke Park after impressive win over Gaoth Dobhair

Champions Corofin returning to Croke Park after impressive win over Gaoth Dobhair
Corofin's Gary Sice with Gary Mac Phaidin and Odhran Mac Phaidin O’Fearraigh of Gaoth Dobhair. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Corofin 2-13 - 1-12 Gaoth Dobhair

All-Ireland champions Corofin booked yet another St Patrick's Day date in Croke Park with an assured win over Donegal's Gaoth Dobhair.

With both sides mirroring each other by leaving two deep lying forwards around the opposition goal and 13 men behind the ball, it became a game all about breaking lines and the occasional quick ball inside.

Assisted by the wind in the first half Corofin made the most of the opening period. They might have caught a sight of goal after twelve minutes but multiple Galway hurling full-back Daithí Burke converted a point at the end of the move.

They had the ball in the net four minutes later when Kieran Molloy's shot was saved by Christopher McFadden and the rebound lashed home by Gary Sice to leave it 1-4 to 0-2.

Two minutes later Gaoth Dobhair got a huge shot of adrenalin when Eamonn McGee laid off a free to Naoise ÓBaoill and after a pass to Christopher McFadden he had a total of ten steps before his shot was parried by Corofin goalkeeper Bernard Power only for Kevin Cassidy to slam home the loose ball.

Cassidy then won a throw up ball to set up captain Niall Friel for a point and they came to within a point before Corofin's second goal arrived. A brilliant delivery from Sice was fetched beautifully by Ian Burke and he laid off for Martin Farragher to crash to the net, half-time score leaving the All-Ireland champions in front 2-7 to 1-5.

Gaoth Dobhair threatened to close the gap on a number of occasions in the second half, but the ongoing struggles in trying to get the kick-out hurt them greatly. Whenever they pressed on the Corofin kickout, Bernard Power was able to find the little pockets of space as time ran out for the Donegal men.

Scorers for Gaoth Dobhair: K Cassidy 1-2, C Mulligan 0-2, E Colm 0-2 (1f), O MacNiallais 0-2 (1f), J Carroll 0-2, D ÓBaoill, N Friel 0-1 each

Scorers for Corofin: G Sice 1-6, (6f), Martin Farragher 1-0, J Leonard 0-2, (1f), I Burke, D Burke, L Silke, G Burke 0-1 each.

GAOTH DOBHAIR: C Sweeney; G McFadden, N McGee, C McFadden; N Freil (c), E McGee, O McFadden-Ferry; D ÓBaoill, O MacNiallais; C Mulligan, N ÓBaoill, D McBride; E Colm, K Cassidy, M Carroll

Subs: J Carroll for N ÓBaoill (57m), S ÓBaoill for McFadden (58m)

COROFIN: B Power; C Silke, K Fitzgerald, L Silke; K Molloy, D McHugh, D Wall; D Burke, R Steede; G Sice, Mike Farragher, J Leonard; Martin Farragher, I Burke, M Lundy

Subs: G Burke for Wall (37m), C Brady for Lundy (37 - Black card replacement), C Cunningham for McHugh (56m), C McGrath for Martin Farragher (58m), D Canney for Sice (63m)

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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