Classy Corofin far from finished

Corofin 2-14, Mountbellew-Moylough 0-10...Corofin has not been short on success in recent years, but you get the feeling that this one tasted a bit sweeter than most as they flexed their muscle and swept past Mountbellew-Moylough to claim their fifth title in a row at Tuam Stadium.
Classy Corofin far from finished

This is the first time they have won the Frank Fox Cup five years on the bounce, joining an illustrious group together with Tuam Stars and Ballinasloe — although those two clubs have strung together seven titles in succession, which you’d imagine is the next target of this ambitious club.

In the build-up, Corofin were doubted in some places as a young Mountbellew-Moylough accumulated an amazing 7-73 in their five champions games, but even after the sending-off of Cathal Silke before half-time, the pretenders could not kick on.

Instead, Conor Cunningham and Martin Farragher hit goals in the 37th and 39th minutes to end their dreams of a first win in 31 years.

“It was really sweet. We were written off coming into this final which is very unusual for Corofin. People said this team was finished but a lot of stood up today when the questions were asked, especially when we went down to 14 men,” said Corofin manager Kevin O’Brien.

“There is great character in the Corofin dressing room. We are a very tight group. And after Cathal got sent off the lads really responded. The game opened up after half-time. And not only do you have to win these games, you have to come out and win it and that takes a bit of effort.”

From the start there was plenty of needle in this game, but the bright start that Corofin managed was crucial, and Ronan Steede and Michael Farragher points and a couple of frees from Jason Leonard saw them into an early advantage.

At the other end, Barry McHugh was Mountbellew-Moylough’s real danger man and he kicked a couple of quick points in reply, but Steede, Leonard, and Dylan Wall all added good scores to help their side into a 0-8 to 0-4 half-time lead.

Silke’s sending-off was fully deserved as he kicked out at Barry McHugh, but the key score came in the 37th minute when Leonard’s hand pass over the top sent Cunningham in on goal and he finished smartly past Brian Donnellan.

Bergin tagged on a point for Mountbellew-Moylough, but moments later Martin Farragher hit Corofin’s second goal to totally take the steam out of Mountbellew-Moylough’s challenge.

Bergin then became the second player to see red when he clashed with Sice, but their hopes of ending a 31-year wait for a county crown was long gone at that point.

“We were still in touch at half-time, with a man advantage and the wind to come,” said Mountbellew-Moylough manager Michael Donnellan.

“We had to kick on and have a real good crack at it but you are talking about one of the best teams in the country, and they came out and hit 2-2 after half-time.”

Scorers for Corofin:

J Leonard (0-6, 4 frees); M Farragher (1-1); C Cunningham (1-0); G Sice (f), R Steede (0-2 each); M Farragher, D Wall, I Burke (0-1 each).

Scorers for Mountbellew-Moylough:

B McHugh (0-6, 4 frees); P Donnellan (0-2); J Bergin, E Finnerty (0-1 each).

COROFIN:

B Power; C McGrath, K Fitzgerald, C Silke; D Wall, K Molloy, L Silke; Michael Farragher, R Steede; C Cunningham, J Leonard, G Sice; Martin Farragher, I Burke, M Lundy.

Subs:

D McHugh for Cunningham (41), D Burke for Molloy (47), J Burke for L Silke (50), C Brady for McGrath (57), B O Donovan for Wall (62), K Murphy for Leonard (63).

MOUNTBELLEW-MOYLOUGH:

B Donnellan; A McHugh, S Moran, M Mannion; C Kenny, J Daly, C Murray; E Finnerty, J Bergin; S Boyle, M Daly, P Donnellan; C Mannion, B McHugh, N McDonagh.

Subs:

G Donaghue for S Boyle (34), M Barrett for McDonagh (41), A Sweeney for J Daly (52), C Duffy for Murray (62), J Meehan for C Mannion (62).

Referee:

Muiris Mac Gearailt (Micheal Breathnach).

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