Mountbellew/Moylough back in final but familiar foes Corofin await

Mountbellew/Moylough will be hoping to end a miserable run of results in finals
Mountbellew/Moylough back in final but familiar foes Corofin await

Galway manager Padraic Joyce with Cian O’ Neill at the Corofin v Killannin in the Claregalway Hotel Senior Club Football Semi-Final at Pearse Stadium, Salthill. Picture: Ray Ryan

Galway SFC

New Galway coach Cian O’Neill was in Pearse Stadium with manager Padraic Joyce and his selectors as Corofin advanced to the Galway SFC final where they will take on a Mountbellew/Moylough side who ended their hopes of eight-in-a-row at the semi-final stages last year.

Mountbellew/Moylough, without a title since current manager Val Daly skippered them to victory in 1986, will be hoping to end a miserable run of results in finals after they dethroned champions Maigh Cuilinn in a cracking semi-final.

Two opening half goals from Paddy Kelly, who also set up John Daly for a third, were decisive for Mountbellew/Moylough as they advanced by 3-12 to 0-16.

Mountbellew/Moylough have been runners-up in four of the last six finals, three of those losses coming against Corofin.

They laid the foundation for victory when they led by 2-7 to 0-6 at the break, having played with the wind. Kelly gave them a brilliant start when he found the net after just a minute after a delivery from Mike Daly.

Maigh Cuilinn recovered well with Peter Cooke leading the way and they trailed by just two points seven minutes from the break. But Mountbellew/Moylough, with Matthew Barrett strong in midfield and Barry McHugh a threat up front, pulled away and Kelly fired home a penalty in the dying moments of the half.

Champions Maigh Cuilinn hit back with the opening three points after the restart before McHugh settled Mountbellew/Moylough and points from James Foley and Paul Donnellan were followed by a goal from Daly after he was set up by Kelly to lead by 3-10 to 0-10 with 12 minutes left.

Maigh Cuilinn rallied in the closing stages but just could not get the goal they needed to ignite a comeback and in the end surrendered the crown they won for the first time last year.

Meanwhile, eight players found the target as Corofin saw off a Killannin side hoping to reach their first decider in 21 years by 1-19 to 0-10.

Corofin dominated throughout the contest and led by 1-12 to 0-5 at the break, having played with the wind.

The only goal of the game came four minutes from the break when Dylan Canney finished to the net after being set up by Jason Leonard.

That pushed them 1-10 to 0-4 clear and left Killannin with an impossible task, although they would have remained in the hunt had Patrick Sweeney not been off target with a couple of goal attempts in the opening quarter of the contest.

Corofin pushed on after the restart with Canney, Leonard and Darragh Silke hitting good points inside the opening six minutes.

Enda Kelly pulled back a free for Killannin and after Silke cancelled it out at the other end, he landed three frees in a row to reduce the margin to 1-16 to 0-9 after 48 minutes.

But that was as close as Killannin got as Corofin, with Galway All Star hurler Daithi Burke prominent, pushed on for victory.

The depth of talent available to Corofin was shown when 2018 All Star Ian Burke, who has only recently rejoined the panel due to work commitments, came on for his first action of the campaign and shot a point to book their place in the final where they will hope to win their 22nd title.

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