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After 49 games unbeaten in Galway, Corofin are defeated as Mountbellew claim big scalp

It’ll be Mountbellew-Moylough againsts Moycullen in the 2020 Galway senior football decider.

Eoin Finnerty impressed for Mountbellew-Moylough against Corofin today (file photo).
Eoin Finnerty impressed for Mountbellew-Moylough against Corofin today (file photo).
Image: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

CHAMPIONS COROFIN SAW their magnificent unbeaten run in the Galway senior football arena draw to a close today as Mountbellew-Moylough knocked them out after a 2-13 to 0-12 semi-final success in Pearse Stadum.

Corofin have repeatedly showcased their brilliance, making history in January when they won their third successive All-Ireland crown, but their hopes of eight-in-a-row in Galway were ended this afternoon.

The title holders have gone 49 games unbeaten – 46 wins and three draws – in the Galway senior football championship with the club’s last reversal occurring in September 2012 in a semi-final against Tuam Stars.

It’s difficult to begrudge Mountbellew-Moylough their moment of celebration though. No club in Galway has suffered more when facing Corofin. They have tried eight times in championship fare since 2014 but lost on seven occasions and drew once.

Corofin had edged in front 0-8 to 0-7 at the interval here but Mountbellew were boosted by goals in the third quarter from Paul Donnellan and Patrick Kelly. That left them ahead 2-9 to 0-11 at the second-half water break and they kicked on from there to have seven to spare at the finish.

Eoin Finnerty was superb in kicking 0-6 from play for the winners while Barry McHugh hit 0-5 (0-3 from frees). Galway senior Michael Daly was in action at midfield for a team who continue to be without his brother John, another county player, due to a knee injury. Corofin started with 12 of the team that began January’s Croke Park win over Kilcoo with Ian Burke and Gary Sice chipping in with 0-4 apiece today.

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ian-burke-with-matthew-barrett-paul-donnellan-and-michael-daly Ian Burke in action for Corofin against Mountbellew-Moylough (file photo) Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Three of those defeats arrived in county finals as well yet they can now look forward to the 2020 decider in what will be a novel pairing with Maigh Cuilinn, who saw off Tuam Stars by 3-14 to 1-15 in the day’s first semi-final tie.

Maigh Cuillinn reached the final for the first time since 1977 with early goals from Dessie Conneely and Owen Gallagher helping to pave the way for them. They were in front 2-9 to 0-8 at the interval but last year’s beaten finalists Tuam Stars drew level in the finale with Gavan Connell scoring a key goal. However Maigh Cuillinn weathered the storm with their third goal arriving courtesy of Paul Kelly as they ran out five-point victors.

It is going to be a landmark victory either way in next weekend’s final with Maigh Cuilinn losing out in their only final appearance back in ’77 and Mountbellew-Moylough last triumphing in 1986. 

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