Corofin coasted to their third All-Ireland senior club title in Croke Park thanks to a blitzing first-half that left Nemo Rangers reeling, writes
Nemo were dazed and confused as Kevin O’Brien’s side went for the jugular from the outset and were rewarded to the extent that the second half was a procession. They led by 16 points at one stage close to the death and when Nemo failed to make an early second-half dent into Corofin’s 10-point half-time advantage Corofin’s win was a formality.
Nemo men exited the field at half-time feeling almost assaulted after one of the most complete 30 minutes of football in an All-Ireland final. At the end of it, the Connacht champions led 2-9 to 0-5. That it came against the significant wind factor made their tally and leading margin all the more impressive.
But what was so attractive about Corofin was their desire and intelligence. The decision to move Gary Sice into the full-forward line was rewarded as early as the seventh minute when he finished low and sharp past Micheál Aodh Martin.
The majesty of Dylan Wall’s 14th minute point was something to behold but by stage Nemo looked shellshocked. They did manage a couple of points in succession through Paddy Gumley and a Luke Connolly free but by that stage they had conceded a second goal, a beautiful succession of passes finished by Michael Farragher in the 20th minute. Farragher was also outstanding in giving Corofin the kick-out advantage.
That second green flag put Corofin 11 ahead but they were 12 up when they hit Nemo for three unanswered points before Connolly, again via a free, and Paul Kerrigan gave the Cork side some relief before the break.
Scorers for Corofin: G. Sice (1-4, 0-2 frees); Martin Farragher (0-6); Michael Farragher (1-1); D. Wall, D. Burke, I. Burke (0-2 each); J. Leonard, M. Lundy (0-1 each).
Scorers for Nemo Rangers: L. Connolly (0-6, 4 frees); P. Gumley, P. Kerrigan, J. Donovan, C/ O’Shea (0-1 each).
COROFIN: B. Power; C. Silke, L. Silke, K. Fitzgerald; C. McGrath (c); D. Wall, K. Molloy; D. Burke, R. Steede; M. Lundy, Michael Farragher, J. Leonard; G. Sice, Martin Farragher, I. Burke.
Subs for Corofin: C. Cunningham for K. Molloy (46); C. Brady for G. Sice (49); B O’Donovan for J. Leonard, D. McHugh for C. Silke (both 56); C. Brady for D. Burke (59); D. Canney for Martin Farragher (60+2).
NEMO RANGERS: M.A. Martin; A. Cronin, A. O’Reilly (c), K. O’Donovan; T. Ó Sé, S. Cronin, K. Fulignati; A. O’Donovan, J. Horgan; B. O’Driscoll, P. Kerrigan, C. O’Brien; P. Gumley, L. Connolly, C. Dalton.
Subs for Nemo Rangers: C. Horgan for P. Gumley, M. Dorgan for J. Horgan, J. Donovan for T. Ó Sé (all 39); C. Kiely for C. Dalton (48); C. O’Shea for K. Fulignati (53).
Referee: D. Gough (Meath).