Corofin 1-17 Claregalway 0-10
On Sunday (20th May 2018) evening Claregalway made their return to Galway Senior football for the first time since a wet evening in October 2012 when they were soundly beaten by Barna and relegated to years of what ifs and near misses of Intermediate football. Life and sport are rarely fair and this was clearly depicted in the opposition of Corofin, the reigning All Ireland club champions who disposed of Nemo Rangers on Paddys Day with consummate ease. The poor weather as the only similarity between the aforementioned day of 2012 and the team v Corofin, as the starting 15 from Sunday bear very little resemblance to that tragic day v Barna with only 5 players still wearing the green and gold. Manager Paul Kilgannon had nearly a full deck to pick from with the addition of many members of last years victorious Minor A panel although it will be some time before Eoghan Commins will return as he nurses an ACL injury – the team showed 1 change from the listed programme as much talked and much hyped Jack Glynn (who left a big impression on Dylan Wall) slipped in at wing back.
Claregalway played into the town end for the opening half and looked a tad nervous on their return to the big time, a game on a Sunday at 5-30 normally does lead to a somewhat odd atmosphere. Corofin went 2 scores ahead early on before Sean Moran got us up and running and with 15 minutes gone the scoreline read 0-04 to 0-02 to the opposition with Conor Kelly (who showed well throughout) getting the other. One of the main inconsistencies throughout the 60 minutes was Claregalways poor and at times reckless shooting which will be of concern to the newly appointed offensive co-ordinator Paddy Moran and to be quite honest, Claregalway should have been level on numerous occasions. Corofin were more clinical and were able to capitalize on any error made and sure enough, the hammer blow eventually came when Lundy slipped in Mike Farragher who finished calmly to the back of the net to put some daylight between the teams at 1-04 to 0-02. A serious hamstring injury to Hennessy at midfield further added to the woes of the Claregalway sideline but a worldie of a score from Danny followed by a free from Le Petit Generale Barry Goldrick and all of a sudden, the scoreline was looking more positive at 1-05 to 0-05 – this was as good as it was to get for the Balchies unfortunately. To their credit, the defence did cope quite well at times but try as we might, we found it difficult to contain the slick movement of the Corofin team who are well organised, clearly have a well developed kickout strategy and they stretched their lead to 1-08 to 0-06 at half time.
The opening 15 minutes of the 2nd period were every bit as competitive as the first as further scores from a free form Rohan and 2 quite outstanding efforts from Sean and Danny left us 4 in arrears but from here on out, it was all Corofin. Lundy, Sice, Martin Farragher and Ian Burke who it must be said was unsurprisingly well shackled by Mark Goldrick all getting scores, and with 10 minutes remaining had the lead out to 9, and essentially the game turned into an uncompetitive challenge game. We tagged on 1 final point from Conor Kelly during the dying embers and when the final whistle sounded Corofin ran out deserving victors on a 1-17 to 0-10 scoreline when realistically it could and should have been closer. Ultimately Claregalway never really had Corofin too worried and never had a real game changing moment that being said, this team certainly won’t be judged at the end of the season on this result and to their credit had their moments. The remaining games with city rivals St.James’s next has now taken on that bit more importance. To put the game in context, 11 Claregalway players made their seniors bows which will surely stand them in good stead and the glass can be looked upon as half full. No doubt Kilgannon will have had plenty of food for thought on Sunday night as he ladeled his stock into his porcini and chanterelle risotto.
They will look to rebound v old rivals Menlough in a Div 2 league fixture Saturday evening @ 6 in Lakeview. For Corofin who are only getting going, it will take a very good team stop them completing the 6 in a row. This anonymous reporter would like send well wishes and speedy recovery to Henno.
Team – B O’Donoghue, Barry Callinan, S Cunniffe, M Goldrick, C Campbell, P Kearney, J Glynn, D Hennessy, C Glynn, B Goldrick, S Moran, D Cummins, M Rohan, C Kelly, P Divilly. Subs used – P Commins, Brian Callinan.