Flat Corofin go out to St Brigid's in decider

Dylan Wall of Corofin in action against Robbie Dolan of St Brigid's during the AIB Connacht GAA Football Senior Club Championship final between St Brigid's, Roscommon, and Corofin, Galway, at Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon. Photo by Piaras Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Dylan Wall of Corofin in action against Robbie Dolan of St Brigid's during the AIB Connacht GAA Football Senior Club Championship final between St Brigid's, Roscommon, and Corofin, Galway, at Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon. Photo by Piaras Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

St Brigid’s defeated Corofin last Sunday to lift the Shane McGettigan cup for the first time since 2012 — the year they went on to win the All-Ireland title.

Right from the off Corofin seemed flat and weren’t able for what St Brigid’s threw at them. Ben O’Carroll won the first ball that went in between himself and Liam Silke, he underhit his shot which dropped short but was still able to bounce over the bar.

If this wasn’t enough to realise it wasn’t Corofin’s day then the lack of urgency that they appeared to be playing with said it all. St Brigid’s set up to frustrate Corofin’s open style of football and it worked a treat.

Knowing that Kevin Johnson’s side want space to kick the ball into the Roscommon side set up mainly with thirteen behind the ball and then broke at pace whenever Corofin’s attack broke down. O’Carroll got the better of Silke on the day and with Corofin pushing up right throughout the game all he needed was some good delivery from the middle and any defender would have been in trouble with all the space inside.

Despite scoring 1-13 the victors managed just six points from play throughout the game. By far the better side for the entirety of the game they were the benefactors of some dubious decisions especially for their 14th minute penalty when Alan Daly seemed to fall over the oncoming Bernard Power.

Corofin struggled from then on and didn’t get their first score until the 15th minute of the game from a ‘45. Brigid’s avoided letting Corofin into the game and after 29 minutes led 1-6 to 0-2.

In the 31st Liam Silke got on the end of a Michael Lundy pass to punch the ball into the net and give the scoreboard a better look for Corofin which they didn’t deserve. The second half started slowly but in the 38th minute Corofin captain Dylan McHugh got forward to put just one point between the sides. Once again St Brigid’s got forward to get four of the next five scores and Corofin were really in trouble.

Cathal Joyce will be extremely happy with his side's efficiency as they kicked just three wides in an impressive and dominating performance but on the other side Kevin Johnson will be extremely disappointed to just get seven scores while having more shots than their opposition.

Gary Sice uncharacteristically missed four frees, Darragh Silke missed a second half ‘45 and Corofin just didn’t have their shooting boots on. Conor Cunningham impressed for Corofin during his 60 minutes with his driving runs from centre back being the most dangerous aspect of Corofin’s game. He was unlucky with his effort for goal in the first half that came crashing back off the bar and in the second half he was unlucky once again with another effort on goal that just went wide.

St Brigid’s dominated the kickout and their midfield duo of Nolan and Cunnane certainly got the better of Ciaran Brady and Patrick Egan.this will surely be a learning curve for the Galway club’s pairing as this is their first year in the middle together. Kevin Johnson and his backroom team got an awful lot right this year and will be proud overall of their 2022 campaign.

Winning back the county title for the first time since 2019 was extremely important for a side of Corofin’s stature but unfortunately for the North Galway club, on the day they were simply beaten by the better team.

 

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