A GARY SICE inspired Corofin won their first Connacht Senior Club Football title since 2009 thanks to a 2-13 to 1-7 win over Ballintubber in MacHale Park in Castlebar yesterday afternoon.
Sice and Ian Burke were the stars for the Galway men as they comfortably overcame Mayo champs Ballintubber.
Sice stepped away from the Galway senior panel this year to concentrate on his club duties and it seems to have done him no harm as he left with the Man of the Match award while young star Ian Burke was the game’s top scorer with 1-5, 1-4 of which came from play.
Indeed it was two third quarter goals from Sice and Burke which all but sealed the game for Corofin. Those scores, combined with points from Kieran Fitzgerald and Ronan Steede, saw Corofin 2-9 to 0-4 in front after 41 minutes after leading by three points at half time and despite Ballintubber’s best efforts, Corofin could cruise to victory from there.
Alan Dillon did get a goal for the Mayo men and Cillian O’Connor swung over a couple of frees but the result was not in doubt and with the likes of Burke, Sice and Gary Delaney getting final quarter scores, the final margin was nine points as Corofin picked up their sixth Connacht title.
The Galway champions took a 0-7 to 0-4 point in at the half time break and it was well deserved. In fact they were in control from the start, if not always on the scoreboard.
With Ian Burke in flying form in the full-forward line, Gary Sice pulling the strings from right-half forward and Corofin’s middle eight winning the battle for the dirty ball, Ballintubber did well to be within three points at the break.
Two Ian Burke points (one free) within a minute opened the scoring for Corofin before Cillian O’Connor got one back for the Mayo champions.
Ian Burke and Micheál Lundy had Corofin 0-4 to 0-1 up after 16 minutes.
Ballintubber struggled to find the space required to thrive from open play and their next points came from Cillian O’Connor frees.
Corofin were much more potent in attack and this was reflected by fine scores from Martin Farragher, Ian Burke and Michael Farragher.
Scorers for Corofin
Ian Burke 1-5 (0-1f), Gary Sice 1-2, Micheál Lundy, Martin Farragher, Mike Farragher, Kieran Fitzgerald, Ronan Steede, Gary Delaney 0-1 each.
Scorers for Ballintubber
Cillian O’Connor 0-6 (0-5f), Alan Dillon 1-1.
1. Thomas Healy
7. Liam Silke
3. Kieran Fitzgerald
4. Cathal Silke
14. Greg Higgins
5. Ciaran McGrath
6. Alan Burke
8. Daithi Burke
9. Ronan Steede
10. Gary Sice
22. Mike Farragher
18. Gary Delaney
13. Martin Farragher
11. Micheál Lundy
15. Ian Burke
12. Dylan Wall for 13 Martin Farragher (48)
19. Con Cunningham for 4 Cathal Silke (black card 56)
20. Joe Canney for 22 Mike Farragher (60)
2. Padraic Kelly for 5 Ciarán McGrath (60)
30. Michael Comer for 9 Ronan Steede (60)
1. Brendan Walsh
4. Declan Larkin
3. Cathal Hallinan
6. Brian Murphy
5. Myles Kelly
2. Michael Plunkett
7. Ruaidhrí O’Connor
8. Jason Gibbons
9. Stephen Broderick
13. Alan Plunkett
12. Diarmuid O’Connor
10. Damien Coleman
15. Padraic O’Connor
14. Cillian O’Connor
11. Alan Dillon
21 Ray Geraghty for 15 Padraic O’Connor (34)
19 Daire Summerville for 13 Alan Plunkett (39)
17 Joe Geraghty for 4 Declan Larkin (43)
22 Danny Geraghty for 9 Stephen Broderick (58)
Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)
- This article was first published on 23 November at 16.05pm