Corofin reclaim club title after 17 years

Corofin 1-14 Slaughtneil 0-7

By John Fogarty

Corofin claimed the All-Ireland SFC club title for the first time since 1998 and only the second time in their history with a superior show of football against Slaughtneil.

Leading 1-8 to 0-3, the Galway men had done most of the damage in the first half but kept the scoreboard ticking over after half-time to keep their grip on the Andy Merrigan Cup.

Daithí Burke and Ronan Steede were brilliant in the centre as they succeeded in hitting Slaughtneil where they were strongest. Gary Sice's expertise was borne out as was the danger presented by Micheál Lundy.

Slaughtneil never came close to turning over that eight-point deficit and all of Corofin's forwards has scored from play by the 40th minute.

Almost as way of a consolation, Mickey Moran's men were awarded a penalty in injury-time when Cormac O'Doherty was brought down by Tom Healy but the young forward blazed his subsequent shot wide.

Slaughtneil had been lording the possession and territory stakes early on but had only two points to show for it, each of them extraordinary scores by Christopher Bradley from a free and Chrissy McKaigue from close to the Cusack Stand sideline.

The aforementioned Bradley was this morning touted to start the game despite having broken his collarbone in a shoulder to shoulder clash with Kieran Donaghy in last month's semi-final. He didn't appear to suffering any ill effect from the injury but then he wasn't making much of an impact either.

Neither were several of his team-mates as Corofin worked their way into the game more and more, from some dispossessions here and there to dominance in the middle of the field. For all Slaughtneil's football, the scores were level after 12 minutes when Lundy scored the first of his three points in the space of 90 seconds.

That hat-trick was evident of just how difficult Slaughtneil were finding it on kick-outs and things became a lot worse for them in the 17th minute when Martin Farragher scored a goal. The Ulster champions' defence was all at sea as Sice fetched a ball and laid it off to the unmarked Farragher.

A Sice free followed and while Gerald Bradley broke Slaughtneil's 16 minutes without a score Corofin finished out the half with a brace of points and then almost grabbed a second goal only for Gary Delaney to spurn the final pass to Ian Burke and his shot was parried for a 45 by goalkeeper Antoin McMullan.

Scores and teams:

Scorers for Corofin: G Sice (0-5, 4 frees); M Lundy (0-3); Martin Farragher (1-0); Michael Farragher, G Delaney, L Silke (free), R Steede, I Burke, J Canney (0-1 each).

Scorers for Slaughtneil: G Bradley (0-3); C Bradley (free), C McKaigue, P Kelly (free), Paul Bradley (0-1 each).

Subs for Corofin: D Wall for Martin Farragher (49); J Burke for R Steede (55); M Comer for C Silke, C Cunningham for G Higgins (both 56); K Murphy for G Delaney, J Canney for I Burke (both 58).

Subs for Slaughtneil: P McNeill for C Cassidy, S McGuigan for R Bradley, P Cassidy for P Kelly (all 43); S Kelly for P McGuigan, Fergal McEldowney for C Bradley (both 51); P Kearney for B McGuigan (56).

COROFIN: T Healy; C McGrath, K Fitzgerald, C Silke; G Higgins, L Silke, A Burke; D Burke, R Steede; G Sice, Michael Farragher, G Delaney; I Burke, M Lundy, Martin Farragher.

SLAUGHTNEIL: A McMullan; K McKaigue, B Rodgers, Francis McEldowney; C McKaigue, B McGuigan, C Cassidy; Patsy Bradley, P McGuigan; P Kelly, C Bradley, R Bradley; G Bradley, Paul Bradley, C O'Doherty.

Referee: D Coldrick (Meath)


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