Corofin 0-16 Salthill-Knocknacarra 0-11: Four Galway senior football titles in a row for the first time in their history is the reward for Corofin, who were dominant from the first to last minute thanks to their slick attack, led by Jason Leonard and his nine points.
Two clubs in the county – Tuam Stars and Ballinasloe – have managed to win seven titles back to back, but this run of dominance now has Corofin just six wins behind the Stars, who have 24 Frank Fox Cups to their name.
Even without the hamstrung Gary Sice, you always got the impression that Corofin had plenty in reserve had they been really tested by Salthill-Knocknacarra, but in the end their classy pack of forwards found space too easily and often to be denied on the day.
It will be a few weeks before we find out of the winners of the Mayo and Sligo champions will test them in the provincial semi-final, but once again Corofin cut a swathe through all in front of them in the county title race.
Kevin O’Brien has taken over the reins from current Mayo boss Stephen Rochford, but it was like looking at his All-Ireland champions at stages of the opening quarter as they tore Salthill-Knocknacarra to shreds, made room to score up front and took every chance that came their way.
“That’s a super win, great to win a county title. It’s four in a row, it’s the first time we have talked about it. I am absolutely thrilled for the guys they are a great group of players,” said O’Brien.
“We’ve a lot of young guys coming in there, a lot of the experienced guys as well and they all put the shoulder to the wheel today and delighted with the success. Fair play to Salthill they gave us a really hard game and we kept saying that all of the time.
“It’s great to have this milestone, great to have this behind us now and the whole four in a row thing. We look forward to that, we haven’t thought about it but it’s a great opportunity for us, once we have the county final behind us. I am really delighted for the boys.”
At the heart of all that dominance early on was Micheal Lundy, who was making his first start of the season for his club following a stint in America. He got them up and running in the early seconds, and when Ian Burke and Micheal Farragher similarly followed suit the plan for the day was clear.
Sean Armstrong was very impressive for Salthill-Knocknacarra though and his four first-half points kept his side in touch, while his super 40th minute effort showed he still has the ability to play at the highest level.
Alongside him county minor Robert Finnerty chipped in with four scores and the duo hauled Corofin’s lead back to three points with 13 minutes remaining, but another three Leonard scores ensured that Frank Fox Cup headed north along the N17 once again.
Late on Salthill-Knocknacarra sub Peter Killeen was sent off for a second yellow card in the space of the four minutes he spent on the pitch, but this was a canter for Corofin, who could have a goal late on through Ian Burke, but Evan Duffy denied him with a great save.
Scorers for Corofin:
J Leonard 0-9 (4f), M Lundy, M Farragher, I Burke 0-2 each, K Molloy 0-1.
Scorers for Salthill-Knocknacarra:
S Armstrong 0-6 (2f), R Finnerty 0-4 (3f), T Haran 0-1 (1f).
B Power; C Cunningham, L Silke, C Silke; K Figerald, C McGrath, K Molloy; D Burke, R Steede; B O’Donovan, D Wall, J Leonard; M Lundy, M Farragher, I Burke.
A Burke for O’Donovan (32-39, blood & 44), C Brady for Wall (56), K Murphy for Leonard (61), D Canney for Lundy (64), C Brady for Fitzgerald (65).
E Duffy; E Wynne, F Hanley, C Halloran; R McTiernan, W Finnerty, G Duffy; C Healy, B Kelly; J Maher, R Butler, T Haran; R Finnerty, M MacDonnacha, S Armstrong.
B Conlon for Armstrong (32-37, blood), G Cox for Butler (42), J Killeen for W Finnerty (52), P Killeen for Maher (58), S Kelly for MacDonncha (60).
Tomás Ó Fátharta (Galway).
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