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Corofin survive second-half Pearses surge to deliver fourth straight Connacht title

The Galway kingpins had six points to spare over the Roscommon champions.

Corofin's Liam Silke celebrates scoring a goal.
Corofin's Liam Silke celebrates scoring a goal.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

Corofin 1-10

Pádraig Pearse’s 0-7

Declan Rooney reports from Tuam Stadium

COROFIN SURVIVED A second-half surge from Pádraig Pearse’s and wrapped up a fourth Connacht Senior Club title in a row thanks to a brilliant Liam Silke goal 17 minutes from time at Tuam Stadium.

The Roscommon champions were three behind at the interval but fought back to level matters ten minutes after the break, but Liam Silke’s goal and points from Michael Farragher and Jason Leonard put the result beyond doubt.

After winning the toss and electing to play into the light breeze in the first-half Corofin should have taken the lead in the third minute but Gary Sice uncharacteristically pulled a free wide. Three minutes later at the other end Emmett Kelly slotted a tough ‘45 from the right, which landed on the roof of Bernard Power’s net.

With both teams opting to flood their defence scoring chances were at a premium, but the seven in a row Galway champions were surely disappointed with some of their shooting and shot selection in that opening half.

Nevertheless Dylan Wall levelled matters for them in the seventh minute, while Michael Farragher’s point from a tight angle on the right was just what his side deserved as they moved ahead after 16 minutes.

Playing in their first Connacht senior final Pearse’s refused to take a backward step against their experienced opponents, and on a couple of occasions both sides lost their discipline and the exchanges became tempestuous.

Niall Carty was sin binned after 18 minutes for a pull down on Cathal Silke as he bore down on goal – Sice kicked the free that followed – while another mass brawl saw a couple of yellow cards dished out and a black for Conor Cunningham in the 25th minute.

Six minutes from the interval Sice’s second free put Corofin 0-4 to 0-1 ahead, but in added-time Pearses kept in touch thanks to Hubert Darcy’s free, while Jason Leonard did likewise at the other end to leave it 0-5 to 0-2 in favour of the champions at half-time.

kieran-molloy-and-paul-carey Corofin's Kieran Molloy and Paul Carey of Padraig Pearses. Source: Evan Logan/INPHO

The first time Roscommon champions were quickly out of the blocks in the second-half and a free from Paul Carey soon had the deficit back to two points, while the same player broke through a tough tackle and pointed off his right in the 35th minute.

The Roscommon challenge was certainly rising at that stage, but Ian Burke frees Ronan Steede on the left and he drilled over a wonderful score off the outside of his boot to restore the two-point cushion.

Niall Daly hit back immediately for Pearse’s with another well struck long range point, and his brother Ronan then scored his first following a turnover at midfield by Niall Daly.

At 0-6 each the game was suddenly in the balance, but Corofin took charge in a blistering minute. Jason Leonard’s ball over the top picked out Ian Burke, and his inside ball found Liam Silke who hammered the ball past Paul Whelan.

A minute later Daithí Burke flicked the ball on to the crossbar and Michael Farragher clipped over a point from the rebound to make it 1-7 to 0-6, while Leonard landed a lovely point on the run a few minutes later.

Shane Carty became the third player to earn a black card following an ugly pull down of Dylan Wall seven minutes from time, while his side finished with 14 players following Niall Daly’s late red.

Scorers for Corofin: Jason Leonard 0-3 (1f), Liam Silke 1-0, Gary Sice 0-2 (2f), Michael Farragher 0-2, Dylan Wall 0-1, Ronan Steede 0-1, Colin Brady 0-1

Scorers for Pádraig Pearse’s: Paul Carey 0-3 (2f),Hubert Darcy 0-1 (0-1f), Emmett Kelly 0-1 (1’45), Niall Daly 0-1, Ronan Daly 0-1

Corofin

1 Bernard Power

17 Cathal Silke
3 Kieran Fitzgerald

4 Liam Silke

8 Kieran Molloy
19 Conor Cunningham
7 Dylan Wall

5 Daithí Burke
9 Ronan Steede

10 Gary Sice
11 Michael Farragher
12 Jason Leonard

15 Micheal Lundy (c)
14 Martin Farragher
13 Ian Burke

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Subs:

6 Dylan McHugh for Cunningham (27, black),
24 Colin Brady for Lundy (43),
23 Darragh Silke for C Silke (43),
20 Gavin Burke for Wall (59)
18 Ciaran McGrath for Martin Farragher (60)
25 Dylan Canney for Steede (60, blood sub)
21 Dean Hynes forMichael Farragher (60+5)

Padraig Pearses

1 Paul Whelan

4 Mark Richardson
3 Anthony Butler
5 Gavin Downey

2 Shane Carty
6 David Murray
7 Ronan Daly (jc)

12 Niall Daly
9 Conor Daly

13 Emmett Kelly
8 Niall Carty (jc)
10 Paul Carey

15 Conor Payne
14 Hubert Darcy
11 Lorcan Daly

Subs:

24 Tom Butler for N Carty (18, black),
22 Sean Fahy for Kelly (53)
21 Alan Duffy for S Carty (54, black)
20 Aaron Feehily for Downey (59),
17 James Kelly for Payne (63)
18 Shane Mulvey for L Daly (63)

Referee: Eamon O’Grady (Leitrim).

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About the author:

Declan Rooney

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