Corofin (Galway) 2-6 St Gall’s (Antrim) 1-8
Corofin gained revenge for their penalty shootout defeat by St Gall’s in last year’s final, coming out on top in another humdinger to win the 41st Kilmacud Crokes FBD All-Ireland football sevens title at Glenalbyn yesterday evening.
Ironically, given how last year’s decider concluded, penalties were to play a big part in this game as well.
Corofin led by 1-3 to 0-4 at half time, after Padraic Kelly goaled for Steven Rochford’s side.
St Gall’s edge ahead at the three-quarter mark when CJ McGourty converted from the penalty spot but Corofin were not to be denied and when Pat Fox adjudged that Gary Sice had been fouled in the square, Dave Morris sent an unstoppable shot beyond McGourty.
The Antrim men, who had won three of the previous five renewals of the tournament, kept fighting hard and a Kevin Niblock point left the minimum between the sides. Carl McCabe’s crew lost Sean Burke and Kieran McGourty to red cards however, and Corofin held on.
The tournament got under way at 11am in brilliant sunshine and the unseasonable heat was a factor as the games progressed.
There were indications that the northern domination might be under threat with the make-up of the quarter-finals.
With the club championships in Kildare more advanced than for many years at this time of the year, there were three Lilywhite clubs into the last eight (Carbury, Celbridge and Leixlip), while Corofin were joined by Roscommon representatives, Padraig Pearses from Connacht. The Ulster contingent were completed by Castlewellan (Down) and Naomh Conaill (Donegal).
St Gall’s were extremely fortunate to overcome Carbury in their semi-final, needing a point from CJ McGourty with the last kick of the ball to bring the tie to a penalty shootout with the teams deadlocked on 0-9 apiece.
McGourty was amongst the successful kickers and then saved Eoghan O’Flaherty’s attempt, before Michael Pollock slammed the winning effort to the roof of the net.
Corofin returned to the final by virtue of a 3-11 to 1-8 win over Castlewellan. All the goals came in an open second half, with Jason Leonard, Daithi Burke and Alan Burke netting for the Galwegians.
Scorers for Corofin: J Leonard 0-3(1f); D Morris(pen), P Kelly 1-0 each; S Monaghan, G Sice(f), M Lundy 0-1 each
Scorers for St Gall’s: C McGourty 1-3(1-0 pen); K Niblock 0-4; K McGourty 0-1
St Gall’s: K McGourty, B Bardley, S Burke, A Gallagher, A Healy, S Kelly, CJ McGourty, K Niblock, T O’Neill, M Pollack
Corofin: D Morris, B O’Donovan, A Burke, M Lundy, S Monaghan, K Murphy, G Sice, J Leonard, D Burke, P Kelly
Referee: P Fox (Westmeath)