Corofin turn on the style to end St Vincent's reign
Corofin 1-13 St Vincent's 1-9
COROFIN combined character with stunning football to book their place in this year's AIB All-Ireland senior club final at the expense of last year's champions.
It wasn't looking good for the Galwegians when Mossy Quinn rolled a 24th-minute penalty beyond Thomas Healy, a minute after Gary Delaney had earlier struck the St Vincent's crossbar from the spot.
Brendan Egan quickly added a point following a good exchange of passes with Quinn and it looked as if the momentum, which until then had been entirely with Corofin, had now shifted.
Stephen Rochford's crew remained calm though and they finally found the Vincent's net six minutes before the break.
They managed to open up the opposition defence on numerous occasions throughout the hour and when Michael Lundy broke through onto a breaking ball, he slipped a pass to Martin Farragher, whose scuffed shot crept over the line.
St Vincent's have cause to grumble in that they were denied a clear-cut penalty in the 35th minute when Ciarán McGrath threw himself on Ciarán Dorney's goal-bound shot as the ball rolled along the sod.
In truth, though, Corofin were the better side, with Lundy giving an exhibition as a roaming full-forward who scored four points from play and also had a hand in a host of other scores. Ian Burke and Farragher completed a deadly attacking line.
The defensive unit deserves credit too, as David Connolly and Quinn were kept quiet by their usual standards. Liam Silke and McGrath were the direct markers but with Connolly in particular, it was rarely a one-man assignment.
The first half was brilliant to watch. It was nip and tuck early on with the teams level three times in the opening 12 minutes. Gary Sice's converted free which made it 0-3 each was the start of a run of eight scores in as many minutes, which brought it to 0-7 to 0-5 prior to the first penalty.
Burke and Lundy provided some excellent points, while Ruairi Treanor and Dorney were providing the positives for the Vinnies in attack, with Connolly and Quinn well shackled.
In truth, the 1-8 to 1-6 interval lead didn't do justice to Corofin's first-half superiority. Points from Lundy and Burke doubled their advantage and after the controversy of the missed penalty by Pádraig Hughes and his umpires, Burke converted a free after he had been fouled himself to stretch the margin to five.
You waited for the champions to rally and Connolly landed two points before Quinn lofted a 40-metre free over the bar. Suddenly, it was a two-point game with 14 minutes of normal time remaining.
Connolly missed an opportunity to eat further into the gap though with a rare wide and Cathal Silke blocked Treanor's attempt at a goal.
Instead, when Hugh Gill failed to gather a long ball, Burke swooped to gather possession and drive over. A Sice free made things more comfortable and Farragher provided a fitting ending with a wonderful point.
Scorers - Corofin: I Burke 0-5 (1f); M Farragher 1-2; M Lundy 0-4, G Sice 0-3(f); St Vincent's: T Quinn 1-1 (1-0 pen, 1f); D Connolly 0-3 (1f); R Treanor 0-2; C Dorney, B Egan, S Carthy 0-1 each.
Corofin: T Healy; C McGrath, K Fitzgerald, C Silke; D Burke, L Silke, A Burke; G Higgins, R Steede; G Sice, G Delaney, M Farragher; M Farragher, M Lundy, I Burke. Subs: D Wall for Steede (53), J Burke for Farragher (60+1)3
St Vincent's: M Savage; Cameron Diamond, J Curley, H Gill; B Egan, G Brennan, M Concarn; E Fennell, G Burke; Cormac Diamond, D Connolly, S Carthy; R Treanor, C Dorney, T Quinn. Subs: T Diamond for Cormac Diamond (36), G Murphy for Dorney (41), E Brady for Concarn (55)
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)
Sunday Indo Sport