Second half goals sees Corofin crowned lntermediate Football Champions

posted 27 Sep 2015, 06:20 by Corofin GAA   [ updated 27 Sep 2015, 07:40 ]

Intermediate Football Championship Final

Corofin 4-7  Kilmihil 0-11

September 26th, 2015

A hat-trick of goals in the second half saw Corofin eventually overcame the challenge of a dogged Kilmihil side in the 2015 Intermediate Football Final, which was played in a sunny Miltown Malbay on Saturday, September 26th. Corofin had two changes in personnel from the team which defeated Kilfenora in the semi-final, with Manus Malone restored to the full-back line after recovering from injury, while Gearóid Kelly was in from the start after coming on as an early substitute in the semi-final victory. Diarmaid Cleary and Darren Malone were the players to give way. The team also saw a raft of positional switches, with Donnchadh Kelleher acting as sweeper, Damien Ryan moving to midfield and Luke O'Loughlin now stationed at full-forward.

Just as in the semi-final, Corofin were slow to settle into the game, and they clocked up the wides in the opening ten minutes, during which they give Kilmihil a three point head start following points from Paul Reidy (2) and Timmy Ryan. It took until the 13th minute for Corofin to get off the mark, and they did so in style when a pass from Jamie Malone found John Keane storming through the middle and he duly finished to the net to immediately wipe out Kilmihil's three point advantage. This goal spurred Corofin into life, and a fine point from the left wing from Shay Malone, followed by a converted free by his cousin Jamie, saw Corofin take the game to Kilmihil and go into a two point lead. Corofin were almost in for a second goal but Jamie Malone's goal bound shot was saved and the danger was averted. Kilmihil were soon back on level terms when a David Egan shot was tipped over the bar by Corofin net-minder Kieran Carkill, and corner-back David Coughlan raided up the field for a fine score. From here on until the half-time break, the lead would would swing back and forth between the two sides. A Stephen Heagney point put Corofin back in front, only for Kilmihil to re-take the lead following points from their chief marksman Paul Reidy and veteran Timmy Ryan. Damien Ryan got the final score of the first half when he pointed a long range free to leave the sides deadlocked at the break following a real ding-dong battle. Half-Time score: Corofin 1-4 Kilmihil 0-7 

Kilmihil were the sharper team in the opening minutes of the second half, and they edged back out in front on the score-board with further points from Paul Reidy (free) and Timmy Ryan. Jamie Malone replied with a point off his weaker left leg, and then Corofin struck for their second goal when full-back Eamonn Malone, who was a colossus throughout the game, rampaged up the field and passed the ball to Luke O'Loughlin to flick to the net. Kilmihil clawed back a point with a converted free from Clare forward Martin O'Leary, but the holes were now rapidly appearing in the Kilmihil defence. A long ball from Corofin substitute Darren Malone found his brother Jamie, who fed John Keane who had the easy task of rounding the keeper and finishing to the net for his second, and his teams third goal. Darren Malone followed up his assist with an inspirational point from distance, and Corofin were now very much on their way. Another long ball, this time from Jason Tierney, found Damien Ryan on the edge of the square and he was able to palm to the net to put the result beyond doubt. Kilmihil were now a beaten docket. Martin O'Leary did pull a point back, but they were unable to find any through for a green flag, as a late goal chance for David Ryan was superbly blocked by a combination of goal-keeper Carkill and Donnchadh Kelleher. Damien Ryan then pointed his second free and this proved to be the final score of the game. When the final whistle blew soon after, Corofin had were ahead on the score-board by an 8 point margin. Full-Time score: Corofin 4-7 Kilmihil 0-11. Captain Jamie Malone accepted the cup from County Board Treasurer Bernard Keane amid joyous scenes, and he paid tribute to the dedication and commitment from the whole panel of players and also the management team, while also acknowledging the challenge put up from opponents Kilmihil. 

This victory was testament to the hard work from the players not just this year, but over the last 3 years under the stewardship of James Murrihy, Pat Curtis and Brian Lynch. After reaching the semi-final in 2013, the team were agonisingly beaten by Wolfe Tones in last years final after a replay. In 2015 however, Corofin were to make no mistake, and this Championship victory is their second piece of silverware this year, having earlier clinched the Division 3 League title. Corofin's last Intermediate Football Championship success came in 2006, when they went all the way to the Munster Final where they were defeated by Kerry champions Ardfert. Corofin will be keen to go one better this year, and will not rest on their laurels as they now plan for their Munster Championship campaign. First up is a semi-final encounter on the weekend of November 14th/15th away to either the Kerry or Tipperary champions.

The following was the Corofin team line-out and scorers:

1. Kieran Carkill

2. Manus Malone

3. Eamonn Malone

4. Colm Rice

5. Gearóid Kelly

6. Brendan Keane 

7. Shay Malone 0-1 

8. John Keane 2-0 

9. Damien Ryan 1-2 (0-2 frees)

10. Stephen Heagney 0-1 

11. Donnchadh Kelleher

12. Fionn Clancy 

13. Jason Tierney 

14. Luke O'Loughlin 1-0

15. Jamie Malone 0-2 (0-1 free)  

Darren Malone 0-1   for   Fionn Clancy 
Fergal Neylon           for   Gearóid Kelly
David Corbett            for   Stephen Heagney
Eoin Davoren            for   Jason Tierney
Diarmaid Cleary        for   Donnchadh Kelleher