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Corofin 7-17 Oughterard 0-11
Claregalway Hotel Senior Football Championship – Group 4A
Sunday, 2nd August – 2:30pm 2020 at Pearse Stadium. Live on TG4
The opening weekend of the Galway Senior Football Championship saw the clash of the All-Ireland Champions. Corofin lifted the Andy Merrigan Cup for the fifth time after defending their title with an extra-time win over county Down side Kilcoo at Croke Park last Janurary. The following weekend Oughterard defeated Magheracloone Mitchells of Monaghan by 2-16 to 0-12 to claim the Intermediate title.
Despite the retirement of their captain and club stalwart Kieran Fitzgerald, Corofin manager Kevin O’Brien had a host of experienced players to call upon to step up to the mark. It was to be a baptism of fire for Tommy Finnerty’s Oughterard side.
There was a clinical freshness to the Corofin attack, who at times looked tired during last years campaign. This bunch of players had been on the go non-stop for the last four years. During this run the end of their county title campaign each year signalled the start of their all-Ireland winning campaigns.
The first-half was a story of missed chances for the newcomers when contrasted with Corofin’s clinical dispatching of scores. Corofin played against a fresh breeze in the opening half. Michael Lundy was given the role of the lone operator in the full-forward line, with support runners coming from deep.
In the early exchanges, a Matthew Tierney point for Oughterard was cancelled out by a Darragh Silke score at the other end. Corofin’s Kieran Molloy was black carded for an incident in the fourth minute. But despite the numerical disadvantage, Corofin outscored their opponents by 1-3 to a single point during the next ten minutes.
Darragh Silke raised the first green flag of the game running onto a lay-off from Lundy, which he duly drove home past Jordan Waller in the Oughterard goal. Lundy and Oughterard’s Ronan Molloy exchanged scores before Oughterard spurned a glorious goal opportunity. Ronan Molloy dragging his effort wide of Bernard Power’s net.
Indeed that was to be the first of three goal chances that Oughterard engineered in the opening half. None of which were converted.
- Scores from Cian Harte, Matthew Tierney and Enda Tierney saw Ougherard close the gap to two points after twenty minutes. Enda Tierney had a fine chance to put Oughterard ahead, but blazed his goal effort to the left of Bernard Power’s goal. From the resulting kick-out Corofin swept downfield and Michael Lundy laid the ball on a plate for the onrushing Michael Farragher to fire Corofin into a 2-7 to 0-6 lead.
Conor Brady and Paul Walsh exchanged points before the interval. Corofin took a healthy seven-point lead into the half time break.
Half-Time: Corofin 2-8 Oughterard 0-7
After the restart, a brace of points from Darragh Silke bookended a Michael Lundy score as Corofin extended their lead. Eric Lee got Oughterard off the mark in the half with a point before Corofin found the net again.
Michael Lundy took a quick free on the right, which was work in and across goal, when the initial effort was blocked Michael Lundy was on hand to fire home a third Corofin goal.
Another Oughterard goalbound effort was kicked off the line by Conor Cunningham as the gulf On the scoreboard continued to grow. In truth, the remainder of the game was a damage limitation for Tommy Finnerty’s men.
Corofin showed their strength in depth by springing a pair of All-Stars off the bench. Ian Burke and dual star Daithí Burke joined the action and the former made his mark with two fine points.
Jason Leonard raised a fourth green flag for the holders when he fired home from the left of goal. A fifth arrived shortly after, this time Dylan Canney fired home from the opposite side of Jordan Wallers net, which by now was almost under constant siege. Darragh Silke got in on the act with a goal, as he took his personal tally to 1-7 from play. The seventh goal came from substitute Matthew Cooley who tapped home a rebound after Waller had saved his initial effort.
Corofin were imperious at times in the second half as Oughterard were ruthlessly exposed in their first game back at senior level. In truth, it’s doubtful that any side in the country could have kept pace with Corofin at times today. Kevin O’Brien’s side recorded only three wides during the entire game. Scoring 24 times from 27 efforts on goal, which showed the clinical nature of this side.
Full Time: Corofin 7-17 Oughterard 0-11
Corofin- Darragh Silke 1-7, Michael Lundy 1-3, Jason Leonard 1-1, Dylan Canney 1-1, Dylan Wall 1-0, Matthew Cooley 1-0, Mike Farragher 1-0, Gary Sice 0-2 (1f), Ian Burke 0-2, Liam Silke 0-1, Colin Brady 0-1.
Oughterard- Matthew Tierney 0-3 (2f), Paul Walsh 0-3, Ronan Molloy 0-2, Enda Tierney 0-1, Cian Harte 0-1, Niall Lee 0-1 (1f).