Brian Barry reports from Croke Park where Corofin won the AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship, beating Nemo Rangers 2-19 to 0-10.
Two giants of the club game descended on Croke Park this afternoon aiming to be crowned the best team in Ireland once again. In bitterly cold conditions at HQ, it was the Galway club who ran out comprehensive winners.
In the opening exchanges, both teams hit the post as they strived to gain an advantage. However, former Galway star Gary Sice took the bull by the horns for the Connacht outfit, raising a green flag after an excellent left-footed effort beat Micheál Aodh Martin on the far post. Sice followed it up with another well-taken point.
Despite Luke Connolly getting Nemo off the mark from a placed ball, it was the Galway outfit who took control, building a 1-06 to 0-01 lead after 18 minutes.
Michael Farragher then found the net after some sweet handpassing in the build-up, and with an 11-point cushion, Corofin looked to be well and truly in command.
Nemo did get the next two points, but even against a strong wind, Corofin continued to pile on the pressure, thanks to an effective running game.
Nemo went in at the break with a ten-point deficit to overcome.
Aided by the wind after the break, Corofin pushed on. Martin Farragher, who had his ban overturned after his controversial red card against Moorefield, and Gary Sice were tormentors-in-chief.
The second half was a mere procession, as the Galway side raised a succession of white flags to win out on a scoreline of 2-19 to 0-10.
Corofin: Gary Sice 1-05 (0-02 frees), Martin Farragher 0-06, Michael Farragher 1-01, Dylan Wall 0-02, Daithí Burke 0-02, Ian Burke 0-02, Jason Leonard 0-01, Micheál Lundy 0-01.
Nemo Rangers: Luke Connolly 0-06 (0-04 frees), Paul Kerrigan 0-01, Paddy Gumley 0-01, Jack Donovan 0-01, Ciarán O’Shea 0-01.
1. Bernard Power
2. Ciarán McGrath
3. Kieran Fitzgerald
4. Cathal Silke
5. Kieran Molloy
6. Liam Silke
7. Dylan Wall
8. Daithí Burke
9. Ronan Steede
10. Gary Sice
11. Micheál Lundy
12. Jason Leonard
13. Ian Burke
14. Martin Farragher
15. Michael Farragher
Conor Cunningham for Kieran Molloy (46th minute)
Colin Brady for Micheál Lundy (49th minute)
Dylan McHugh for Cathal Silke (56th minute)
Barry O’Donovan for Jason Leonard (56th minute)
Ciarán Brady for Daithí Burke (59th minute)
Dylan Canney for Martin Farragher (61st minute)
1. Micheál Aodh Martin
2. Kevin O’Donovan
3. Aidan O’Reilly
4. Alan Cronin
5. Tomás Ó Sé
6. Stephen Cronin
7. Kevin Fulignati
8. Alan O’Donovan
9. Jack Horgan
10. Barry O’Driscoll
11. Paul Kerrigan
12. Colin O’Brien
13. Luke Connolly
14. Paddy Gumley
15. Ciarán Dalton
Conor Horgan for Paddy Gumley (38th minute)
Michael Dorgan for Jack Horgan (38th minute)
Jack Donovan for Tomás Ó Sé (38th minute)
Colm Kiely for Ciarán Dalton (48th minute)
Ciarán O’Shea for Kevin Fulignati (53rd minute)