By Ian Cooney
A meeting between the two most successful club teams in Connacht turned into a turkey shoot as Corofin laid down a decisive marker against a dreadful Clann na nGael side at Dr. Hyde Park.
Between them, they have 15 club titles but Corofin have been the talking horse for some time now, as opposed to Clann who enjoyed the vast majority of their successes in the eighties and nineties.
It was a reminder for Clann in terms of the journey they must travel to rediscover past glories and how far they are behind Corofin in terms of development. The Galway side, who won their sixth county title on the bounce last weekend, were imperious and showed no mercy to their once fiercest rivals.
Corofin (Galway) have beaten Clann na nGael (Roscommon) 4-22 to 0-07 watch the Full-Time highlights here on GAANOW! pic.twitter.com/WHhG6KCtXY— The GAA (@officialgaa) November 11, 2018
First-half goals from Colin Brady and Michael Lundy set the tone, and Corofin continued to run riot after the break, adding a further brace of green flags from Man of the Match Jason Leonard who ended up with a personal tally of 2-6.
Clann na nGael were outplayed all over the field but their cause wasn’t helped by the loss of their talisman Donie Shine to a black card in the 30th minute, followed quickly by a red card for midfielder Ultan Harney after an incident with Dylan Wall.
Playing against the wind, Corofin went for the jugular early, and a point from Ronan Steede was followed immediately by a goal from full-forward Colin Brady who replaced Ian Burke in the Galway champions’ starting 15.
Colin Brady finds the net early for Corofin! pic.twitter.com/ZwfvUS15RA— The GAA (@officialgaa) November 11, 2018
A brace of Shine frees kept Clann na nGael in the game early on but Corofin, aided by the energy provided by Dylan Wall and Kieran Molloy from their wing-back berths, soon put significant daylight between the sides.
Four points in succession from Leonard were followed by further scores from Brady, Michael Lundy and Wall (2). Then, in the 29th minute, Mike Farragher’s effort for a point was held up in the wind. Molloy chased what seemed like a lost cause gathered and squared the ball unselfishly for Lundy to net his side’s second goal.
Micheál Lundy goal for Corofin! pic.twitter.com/qKiTlJFoac— The GAA (@officialgaa) November 11, 2018
Things got worse for Clann when they lost Shine and Harney, although Cathal Shine did manage a score to leave his side trailing by 2-10 to 0-3 at the break.
The one-way traffic continued in the second half as Corofin toyed with a Clann side bereft of any confidence. Barely a minute had elapsed when Leonard emphatically crashed the ball to the net to banish any hopes of a Clann revival.
Jason Leonard nets a third goal for Corofin! pic.twitter.com/BcZ4Q8BQoX— The GAA (@officialgaa) November 11, 2018
Corofin corner-back Liam Silke ambled forward for a score as the Galway side’s angles of running and support play continued to leave Clann na nGael chasing shadows.
The scores kept coming as substitutes Dylan Canney and Darragh Silke grabbed a couple of points apiece.
Leonard finished off a flowing team move for Corofin’s fourth goal in the 46th minute and it took a good save from Clann na nGael Ronan O’Reilly to prevent his side from conceding a fifth.
Jason Leonard with a great goal! pic.twitter.com/qPzczB03TE— The GAA (@officialgaa) November 11, 2018
Late Clann points from Cathal Callinan, Ciaran Lennon (a free) and Johnny Dunning couldn’t conceal the gulf between the sides as Corofin set up a Connacht Club final meeting against Ballintubber in two weeks’ time.
Scorers for Corofin: J Leonard( 2-6, 3 frees, 1 45; M Lundy (1-3); C Brady (1-1); D Wall, G Sice (0-1f), D Canney, D Silke (0-2 each); L Silke, R Steede, Mike Farragher, Martin Farragher 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clann na nGael: D Shine (0-2); C Shine, E Kenny, C Lennon (0-1f), J Dunning, C Callinan (0-1 each).
COROFIN: B Power; C Silke, K Fitzgerald, L Silke; K Molloy, D McHugh, D Wall; C Brady, R Steede; M Lundy, J Leonard, Mike Farragher; Martin Farragher, C Brady, G Sice.
Subs used: C Cunningham for Wall (33), D Canney for Brady (35), D Silke for Sice (42), G Burke for C Silke (49), B O’Donovan for Farragher (53), C McGrath for McHugh (55).
CLANN NA NGAEL: R O’Reilly; R Gavin, D Pettit, S Pettit; G Pettit, S Flynn, D Connaughton; U Harney, C Shine; C McManus, D Shine, E Kenny; D McManus, C Lennon, J Fahy.
Subs used: M Scally for D McManus (25), C Callinan for Shine (30, black card), D Sumner for Fahy (half-time), J Dunning for C McManus (half-time), D Duff for Gavin (36), N Connaughton for Kenny (49).
Referee: J Henry (Mayo).