Tuesday 22 October 2019

Scintillating Corofin win back to back All-Irelands as Crokes crumble after John Payne sees red

Corofin 2-16 Dr Crokes 0-10

17 March 2019; Joint-captains Ciarán McGrath, left, and Micheál Lundy of Corofin lift The Andy Merrigan Cup following the AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final match between Corofin and Dr Crokes at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
17 March 2019; Joint-captains Ciarán McGrath, left, and Micheál Lundy of Corofin lift The Andy Merrigan Cup following the AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final match between Corofin and Dr Crokes at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
17 March 2019; Dr. Crokes' captain John Payne is sent off by referee Barry Cassidy, for a straight card offence after an incident with Dylan Wall of Corofin in the first half, during the AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final match between Corofin and Dr Crokes' at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
17 March 2019; Micheál Burns of Dr. Crokes' in action against Dylan Wall, left, and Cathal Silke of Corofin during the AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final match between Corofin and Dr Crokes at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Corofin's right to be called the best club football team ever hardened in Croke Park when they ran up a third double-scores All-Ireland final victory, this time over Dr Crokes.

After hammering Nemo Rangers by 15 points last year they tore another Munster giant apart here, racking up a 12-point win with more scintillating football.

Crokes were handicapped by the dismissal on 26 minutes of defender John Payne when his boot made contact with Dylan Wall's face in a collision.

It looked accidental but referee Barry Cassidy produced a red card and the Killarney kingpins' faint hope of salvaging something even at that stage was gone.

The second half was a procession with Corofin picking and choosing their moments as they liked.

Only a great Shane Murphy save from Daithi Burke prevented a third goal.

Burke, Galway hurling's teak-tough full-back, was majestic at midfield with Ronan Steede and with Kieran Molloy pouring through from half-back Crokes were overwhelmed at times.

Corofin were slightly slower out of the blocks than last year when they had the game wrapped up inside 20 minutes. This time they applied most of the pressure in the last 10 minutes of the first half when they ran in 1-3 to 0-1 in a blistering display.

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Their second goal on 21 minutes, palmed to the net by Sice, was another measure of Corofin brilliance with Martin Farragher's reverse handpass to Daithi Burke splitting Crokes' defence before Ian Burke squared to Sice.

Earlier Jason Leonard had knocked in their first goal on eight minutes after a deft touch by Molloy put him clear.

Crokes were playing against the wind and were staying in touch thanks to Tony Brosnan's opportunism.

But Corofin always looked more likely to create openings with Martin Farragher always dangerous, adding four points to the six he scored in last year's final.

Colm Cooper came off the bench for the last  23 minutes but the game was gone by then. He did however convert a late free after he was fouled, probably his last act in Croke Park amidst much speculation that he will retire from club football after this.

Corofin's Kieran Fitzgerald, who had another great final, was sent off for a second yellow card late on.

Corofin's success has only been bettered by Crossmaglen Rangers who won three titles in four years between 1997 and 2000. And that's the company they now keep.

Scorers - Corofin: G Sice 1-5 (0-3fs), J Leonard 1-3, Martin Farragher 0-4, Daithi Burke 0-2, Mike Farragher, K Molloy 0-1 each.

Dr Crokes: T Brosnan 0-5 (4fs), D Casey 0-3 (2fs), M Burns, C Cooper (f) 0-1 each.

Corofin: B Power; L Silke, K Fitzgerald, C Silke; D Wall, D McHugh, K Molloy; D Burke, R Steede; M Lundy, J Leonard, Michael Farragher; G Sice, Martin Farragher, I Burke. Subs: Colin Brady for L Silke inj (h-t),  C Cunningham for McHugh (48),  G Burke for Lundy (53), C McGrath for Wall (55), D Canney for Sice (56), Ciaran Brady for D Burke (57).

Dr Crokes: S Murphy; J Payne, M Moloney, F Fitzgerald; D O'Leary, G White, S Doolan; J Buckley, D Casey; M Burns, G O'Shea, B Looney; T Brosnan, K O'Leary, D Shaw. Subs: M Potts for Doolan (h-t), C Cooper for O'Shea (37), J Kiely for K O'Leary (40), A O'Sullivan for D O'Leary (46), E Brosnan for Casey (53), J Lyne for Looney (57).

Referee: B Cassidy (Derry)

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