Monday 19 February 2018

O'Donovan sees Corofin into decider

Champions Corofin, winners of 10 Galway titles in the past 19 years, are in line for their first three-in-a-row after holding off the challenge of a Barna side hoping to reach their first final.

Corofin did not have it all their own way against a Barna outfit who, managed by former Mayo midfielder and contender for the Galway manager's job Pat Fallon, raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after just 10 minutes.

But the champions eventually wore them down with Alan O'Donovan once again the Corofin hero, kicking their first eight points in another top-class display of free-taking.

O'Donovan hit one from play and four from frees to leave it 0-5 each at the break and, while Paddy Kennedy notched two good points for Barna in the third quarter, O'Donovan kept tacking on the points. Those scores left the sides deadlocked at 0-8 each with 13 minutes remaining and while O'Donovan, the only Corofin player in the starting 15 to score, did not find the range again, three subs took over.

Padraig Hanly was set up by O'Donovan, then Joe Canney scored from the left and Thomas Costello hit a superb free from the right touchline to put the champions 0-11 to 0-8 with nine minutes left.

DD Flaherty pulled back a point for Barna but they never looked like getting the goal they needed to save the game as Corofin advanced to another final, when they will hope to complete the historic three-in-a-row and in the process win the club's 14th Galway crown.

Scorers -- Corofin: A O'Donovan 0-8 (0-7f), P Hanly, T Costello (0-1f), J Canney 0-1 each. Barna: DD Flaherty 0-3 (0-3f), P Kennedy, C Hanley 0-2 each, R Conneely, R Carroll 0-1 each.

Corofin -- D Morris; G Delaney, K Fitzgerald, P Kelly; D Keane, D Burke, K McGrath; G Higgins, K Comer; A Donnellan, A Burke, R Steede; M Farragher, S Monaghan, A O'Donovan. Subs: P Hanly for Delaney (19), J Canney for Monaghan (30), T Costello for Keane (47).

Barna -- J Keane; P Naughton, E McDonagh, J O'Toole; C Thornton, R Curran, A Griffin; B Conneely, D Feeney; P Kennedy, DD Flaherty, R Conneely; C Hanley, J Clifford, R Carroll. Subs: R Creedon for Curran (55), T Curran for Carroll (59), S Kelly for Hanly (60).

Ref -- S O'Hehir.

Irish Independent

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