14-man Corofin too strong for Milltown

Corofin 1-12 Milltown 1-09

Alan O’Donovan was sent off just before half-time, but three consecutive points after the restart and Gary Sice’s goal midway through the second-half ensured Corofin’s search for four titles in six years remains on course.

Bidding to reach their first football final since 2007, Milltown displayed plenty of hunger in the opening stages and by the sixth minute were 0-3 to 0-1 ahead.

Former Kildare forward James Kavanagh got his adopted team off the mark after 30 seconds with a great point on the run, and after Alan O’Donovan levelled matters with a close range free, two points from Michael Martin gave Milltown the early advantage.

At that stage Kavanagh was controlling the game, but Corofin reacted by handing Ronan Steede the job of man-marking the playmaker, which immediately dampened his influence.

By the 12th minute Corofin were level when Kieran Comer and O’Donovan pointed, but when Martin’s goal attempt went over the bar via the crossbar Milltown were in the lead once more. But the second quarter belonged to Corofin and points from Ian Burke and Gary Sice saw them take the lead for the first time before O’Donovan was shown a straight red card on the verge of half-time.

The 2011 champions led 0-6 to 0-5 at the whistle and they took a huge step into the final with three points in-a-row after the restart, two from Galway U-21 star Ian Burke.

Milltown looked to be making their extra man pay as they reeled off consecutive scores, but once Sice linked up with Burke in the 46th minute to hit the net via the post, Corofin’s victory was never in doubt.

Martin give Milltown slim hopes of a comeback a boost with a penalty six minutes from time but Kieran Comer’s late free sealed a spot in the decider for Corofin.

Scorers for Corofin: G Sice 1-2 (2f), I Burke & K Comer (2f) 0-3 each, A O’Donovan 0-2 (2f), M Farragher, & G Delaney 0-1 each.

Scorers for Milltown: M Martin 1-5 (1-0pen, 3f), M Hehir 0-2 (2f), D Brennan & J Kavanagh 0-1 each.

COROFIN: T Healy; D Burke, K Fitzgerald, A Lawless; B O’Donovan, G Higgins, L Silke; R Steede, K Comer; G Sice, A O’Donovan, M Farragher; I Burke, J Canney, G Delaney.

Subs: M Comer for D Burke 41, M Lundy for Canney 50, P Kelly for Lawless 60, D Burke for Delaney 60.

MILLTOWN: C Nolan; D Forde, D Mullahy, B Molloy; C Blake, D Blake, J Martin; S Blake, D Brennan; F Nicholson, J Kavanagh, J Hynes; M Hehir, M Martin, S Hehir.

Subs: B McGrath for S Blake h-t, J Devane for Nicholson 46, D Heron for Hynes 52, C Brennan for D Blake 57.

Referee: James Molloy.

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