O’Donovan calls tune for Corofin

ANY notions that Corofin were going to relinquish their dominance of the Galway SFC were blown away at Tuam Stadium yesterday as they produced a stunning display that has now seen them lift 11 titles in 21 years.

In front of 5,000 at Tuam Stadium they were handed an advantage when the Stars opted to play against the wind for the first half. Wing-back Alan Burke pointed from 35 yards in just 20 seconds and that seemed to trigger a shoot-from-anywhere policy.

Corofin would not be renowned for long distancing shooting or, indeed, for amassing big tallies, but they blew that notion away too.

Some of their scorers were of the highest calibre and the game, really, was over as a contest when they led 0-11 to 0-2 at the break. Alan O’Donovan produced a man of the match display to send them on their way. He kicked 10 points — five in each half — as Corofin blew their neighbours and arch rivals away in a high quality final. They were denied an historic three in-a-row last year but were always on top in this one.

Corofin went for the jugular early, with Galway defender Damian Burke, lining out at centre-forward, landing two wonderful scores and O’Donovan breaking Tuam hearts with scores from play and frees.

Kieran Comer, Justin Burke and even centre-back Greg Delaney found the range as the favourites turned the screw against a Tuam side who struggled to win any of the collisions.

Daithi Burke and Greg Higgins dominated midfield, while corner-back Kieran McGrath was outstanding throughout, regularly dashing forward on incisive solo runs. Tuam could offer little resistance, although Shane Curtin got a couple of points but Jamie Murphy had a effort on goal well saved.

Corofin led by nine points at the break— they kicked seven wides as well — and while Tuam hit back with points from Gary O’Donnell, Shane Gaffney and wing-back Noel Henry after the restart, O’Donovan responded to each of them with points from placed balls.

Murphy tacked on a point for Tuam and then Gary O’Donnell lobbed home a superb goal after 46 minutes to leave it 0-14 to 1-6. Then Tuam got a glorious chance to narrow the deficit further when Kieran Fitzgerald was adjudged to have hauled down Conor Doherty, but David Morris saved Shane Gaffney’s penalty. Tuam did not score after that and Corofin ran out winners with veteran sub Trevor Burke coming on in the dying moments to claim his 11th Galway SFC medal.

Skipper Kieran Fitzgerald, who led them to the 2008 title, said “we got the start we wanted and there were some great scores during that opening half which really got us on top. It was a matter of holding on to that lead after that. It is a great win, especially given that it is against Tuam Stars. We knew we would have to raise our game to beat them.”

Scorers for Corofin: A O’Donovan (0-10, 6fs, 1 ‘45); Damian Burke (0-2); A Burke (0-1); G Delaney (0-1); J Burke (0-1); K Comer (0-1).

Scorers for Tuam Stars: G O’Donnell (1-1); S Curtin (0-2, 1f); J Murphy (0-1); N Henry (0-1); S Gaffney (0-1).

COROFIN: D Morris; P Kelly, K Fitzgerald, K McGrath; A Burke, G Delaney, M Comer; Daithi Burke, G Higgins; G Sice, Damien Burke, A O’Donovan; M Lundy, J Burke, K Comer.

Subs: R Steede for K Comer, 44; R Burke for Damian Burke, 60; I Burke for Lundy, 60; T Burke for J Burke, 60; A Donnellan for Daithi Burke, 60.

TUAM STARS: J Trayers; D O’Rourke, I McGough, A Tierney; D Connern, T Costello, N Henry; B Devaney, J Lawless; D Byrne, J Murphy, G O’Donnell; S Curtin, C Doherty, S Gaffney.

Subs: D Marley for Byrne, 42; R Gaffney for Devaney, 30; D Murray for Curtin, 58; G Cunniffe for S Gaffney 58.

Referee: G Daly (Monivea-Abbey).

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