Corofin (Galway) 1-10
Nemo Rangers (Cork) 0-7
Corofin advanced to their third successive All-Ireland club senior football championship final by seeing off Corofin at Cusack Park this afternoon.
Kevin O’Brien’s men stunned their Cork counterparts by hitting an unanswered 1-2 in the opening eight minutes in Ennis, including a first minute goal from Micheál Lundy, in a game which they’d never trail in.
Nemo wouldn’t register a score in the opening 20 minutes and it saw them trailing their once again hugely impressive opponents by 1-5 to 0-2 at the interval.
Corofin continued to control the tempo after the break, shooting over points via Lundy, Michael Farragher and Ian Burke and keeping out the goals at the other end to ensure another All-Ireland final date against either Ballyboden St Enda’s or Kilcoo.
It didn’t take the holders long to stamp their authority on this semi-final, with Lundy netting them in front inside the opening minute after taking a neat pass from Martin Farragher and rounding Micheál Aodh Martin in the Nemo goal for all three points.
A sweetly struck ’45’ from Jason Leonard followed three minute later and the Galway men were five to the good once Ronan Steede capitalised on a miscued kick-out from 20 metres out.
Martin Farragher and Gary Sice (free) had the scoreboard reading 1-4 to nothing after 17 minutes before Bernard Power was called to action to deny the Cork champions a goal which would have brought them right back into contention.
Corofin's Kieran Fitzgerald and Kieran Histon of Nemo Rangers
Instead Barry O’Driscoll’s effort was superbly parried by Power and Nemo would have to settle for points from Alan O’Donovan and Conor Horgan, as they went in trailing at the break by half a dozen after Kieran Molloy’s fisted point on the eve of half-time.
Lundy and Luke Connolly traded some excellent scores early on in the restart prior to Nemo grabbing sorely needed back-to-back points.
Connolly’s free was backed up by Kevin O’Donovan darting up the flank and splitting the posts, leaving it at 1-7 to 0-5 for the closing 20 minutes.
Chances were squandered on both ends over the next eight minutes before Martin and Michael Farragher combined and it was the latter that shot over a settling score for the Connacht champions. A gem from Ian Burke quickly followed to ensure Corofin had one foot back in the All-Ireland final, as O’Driscoll tapped over a half goal chance at other end in response.
Another Nemo goal chance went by the wayside when Ciaran Dalton opted to point over instead of finding dangerman Connolly inside and from there the champions saw out the job with six to spare and maintain their historic three-in-a-row bid.
Corofin - B Power; K Fitzgerald, C Silke, L Silke; K Molloy (0-1), C Brady, C Cunningham; D Burke, R Steede (0-1); Michael Farragher (0-1), G Sice (0-1f), J Leonard (0-1'45); M Lundy (1-1), Martin Farragher (0-2), I Burke (0-2). Subs: D Wall for M Lundy, D McHugh for C Cunningham, G Burke for C Brady, D Silke for G Sice, C McGrath for C Silke, D Canney for Martin Farragher.
Nemo Rangers - MA Martin; K Histon, A O’Reilly, A Cronin; J Horgan, S Cronin, K O’Donovan (0-1); A O’Donovan (0-1), J McDermott; B O’Driscoll (0-1), P Kerrigan, C O’Brien; L Connolly (0-2, 1f), C Horgan (0-1), M Cronin. Subs: K Fulignati for C O’Brien, C Dalton (0-1) for C Horgan, R Dalton for M Cronin.
Referee - B Cassidy.Tweet