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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 22 November, 2019
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Corofin survive Ballintubber test and will face Padraig Pearses in the Connacht final

Roscommon champions Padraig Pearses enjoyed a successful trip to London today.

Corofin's Martin Farragher poses for a photo after their victory.
Corofin's Martin Farragher poses for a photo after their victory.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

Corofin (Galway) 1-10
Ballintubber (Mayo) 0-11

Daragh Small reports from Tuam Stadium

REIGNING CHAMPIONS COROFIN are back in the Connacht SFC final after they survived an almighty comeback to beat Ballintubber.

Kevin O’Brien’s men returned to the scene of their seventh successive Galway triumph last weekend and Liam Silke blasted the crucial goal at Tuam Stadium.

The All-Ireland holders are in pursuit of their third-straight Andy Merrigan Cups while they will also be very difficult to stop in another provincial decider.

Corofin were only 0-5 to 0-4 in front at the break. Both teams battled hard despite the cold and it wasn’t until the 32nd minute before Jason Leonard gave Corofin their half-time lead.

Liam Silke showed plenty of composure to slot the goal shortly after the resumption and that looked to have signalled the end.

Ballintubber almost provided a sensational comeback with full-back Brian Murphy getting forward to add his attacking nous. Cillian O’Connor scored 0-5 but Corofin just did enough again.

Corofin had to play against the breeze in the first half but they struck first through the boot of Michael Farragher. He landed a brilliant effort from out on the right inside the opening minute.

Kieran Molloy, being deployed in midfield this term, took his opportunity as well moments later, and Corofin looked set to go rampant.

Ballintubber were guilty of their own failings but Diarmuid O’Connor got forward to land an inspirational score and half the deficit.

Two minutes later Corofin’s wonderful fluent attack was at its best when they helped to carve out Martin Farragher’s first point.

Stephen O’Malley answered that and the game was level for the first time in the 17th minute when Michael Plunkett’s speculative shot bisected the posts.

Martin Farragher and Ian Burke did the hard work in the build-up for Liam Silke’s point as Corofin got their noses in front again.

Corofin should have had a goal in the 22nd minute. Liam Silke had time and space to get a shot off but Brendan Walsh saved brilliantly before Molloy missed with the rebound.

Ballintubber were still right in contention and Cillian O’Connor knocked over his first point from a free with three minutes of normal time left in the first half.

But Corofin took a one-point lead into half-time after Leonard’s last ditch free.

Corofin had the breeze in the second half and it took them just three minutes to score their goal. Liam Silke was completely unmarked, caught the precise delivery from Michael Farragher and finished low to the net. It was a huge score. Leonard sent over a free from 45-metres and Corofin were out in the clear.

However, Cillian O’Connor scored his third free in the 47th minute and that was followed by a double from Murphy. Only a goal separated the sides and Cillian O’Connor closed the gap further with his fourth free, and then his fifth in the 61st minute.

There were five minutes added and substitute Darragh Silke scored the vital free.

Scorers for Corofin: Jason Leonard 0-4 (0-4f), Liam Silke 1-0, Martin Farragher 0-2, Michael Farragher 0-1, Kieran Molloy 0-1, Liam Silke 0-1, Darragh Silke 0-1 (0-1f).

Scorers for Ballintubber: Cillian O’Connor 0-5 (0-5f), Brian Murphy 0-2, Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1, Stephen O’Malley 0-1, Michael Plunkett 0-1, Ciaran Gavin 0-1 (0-1f).

Corofin

1. Bernard Power

17. Cathal Silke
3. Kieran Fitzgerald
4. Liam Silke

6. Dylan McHugh
7. Dylan Wall
5. Daithí Burke

8. Kieran Molloy
9. Ronan Steede

10. Gary Sice
11. Michael Farragher
12. Jason Leonard

15. Micheal Lundy
14. Martin Farragher
13. Ian Burke

Substitutes

23. Colin Brady for McHugh (46)
22. Darragh Silke for Lundy (52)
20. Gavin Burke for Sice (59)
19. Conor Cunningham for Wall (60)
18. Ciaran McGrath for Fitzgerald (65).

Ballintubber

1. Brendan Walsh

3. Brian Murphy
2. Gary Loftus
7. Myles Kelly

5. Damien Coleman
6. Michael Plunkett
4. Ruaidhri O’Connor

8. Jason Gibbons
9. Diarmuid O’Connor

10. Ciaran Gavin
14. Alan Dillon
12. Bryan Walsh

13. Alan Plunkett
11. Cillian O’Connor
15. Stephen O’Malley

Substitutes

21. Keelan McDonnell for Bryan Walsh (52)
18. Padraig O’Connor for Gavin (52)
19. Joe Geraghty for Kelly (55).

Referee: Eamonn O’Grady (Leitrim)

***********

Padraig Pearses 2-10
Tír Chonaill Gaels 0-8

Roscommon’s Padraig Pearses will contest a Connacht senior decider for the first time after enjoying an eight-point victory in their trip to Ruislip for today’s semi-final against London champions Tír Chonaill Gaels.

Padraig Pearses, who made history last month in lifting their first Roscommon senior title, followed up last week’s quarter-final victory over Sligo’s Tourlestrane.

They dominated the first half to go in front 1-6 to 0-2 at the interval with Hubert Darcy hitting the net while county seniors Niall and Conor Daly, and David Murray were amongst their point-scorers.

The critical score arrived when Conor Payne struck home their second goal while Ronan Daly notched a brace of points as they triumphed by eight.

We thought there might be a post-World Cup comedown, but then Saracens went and Saracened. Andy Dunne joins Sean Farrell and Gavan Casey as the pod segues from the international to club season.


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