'Polished' Coolderry reach first All-Ireland final

Coolderry (Offaly) 3-16 Gort (Galway) 0-17
Coolderry from Offaly stormed into their first ever All-Ireland Club SHC final with a polished performance to beat Gort at the Gaelic Grounds.

That goals win matches was proven correct once again as the Offaly champions struck three times whereas Gort fluffed two big first-half opportunities.

Indeed all might have been different had Gort's full-forward Ollie Fahy availed of a glorious first minute chance when goalkeeper Stephen Corcoran spilled possession.

It was a tight first half in which the sides were level on four occasions inside nineteen minutes after Coolderry had opened brightly with the first two points, both scored by Damian Murray.

With the scores level at 0-5 each, Coolderry had points by Brian Teehan and Cathal Parlon and then came the crucial first goal.

Eoin Ryan was sent clear into space and he raced through to blast past Peter Cummins. That effort left his side with a double scores lead - 1-7 to 0-5.

By half-time Coolderry led 1-10 to 0-9 and a superb point by Kevin Teehan followed by a Murray free was the perfect cushion to start the second half which only came to life in the final quarter.

Only a goal separated them when Coolderry struck for their second goal. This time Cathal Parlon was the scorer but it followed great build-up play with Murray and Martin Corcoran setting it up for Parlon.

Gort rallied somewhat and raised hopes of a tight finish when they had four unanswered points. The deficit was reduced to four points but that was as close as it got for Gort.

A magnificently-worked third goal, four minutes from the end, clinched it for Coolderry. Barry Teehan linked with Martin Corcoran and he gave the perfect pass for Murray to fire to the net and end a very successful day for him as he finished with a tally of 1-8, with five of the points being frees.

Trevor Corcoran at full-back and centre-back Joe Brady dominated at the back for Coolderry and in attack Murray was a constant threat.

The Gort full-forward line was always struggling and but for the accuracy of Gerry Quinn - he scored 0-10- they would have been swamped.

Quinn pointed seven frees and had two well-struck '65s but the honours went to Coolderry who celebrated in style at the finish

COOLDERRY: S Corcoran; B Kelly, T Corcoran, A Corcoran; K Brady, J Brady, B O'Meara; K Teehan (0-1), D King; B Carroll (0-2), B Teehan (0-2), C Parlon (1-2); E Ryan (1-0), M Corcoran (0-1), D Murray (1-8, 0-5f).

Subs used: K Connolly for K Teehan (46 mins).

GORT: P Cummins; A Coen, M McMahon, M Cummins; G Lally, B Regan (0-1), S Og Linnane; J Grealish (0-1), S Forde; G Quinn 0-10 (0-6f, 0-2 '65'), P Killilea, A Harte (0-1); R Cummins (0-1), O Fahy (0-1), G O'Donoughue (0-2).

Subs used: T Linnane for McMahon (27 mins), K Killilea for Forde (half-time), M Mullins for B Regan (43), M Nestor for Harte (56).

Referee: John Sexton (Cork)


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