By Noah Murray
Corofin will look to continue their winning ways with a matchup against St Brigid’s of Roscommon in the Connacht Senior Football final, after disposing Ballina Stephenites at Pearse Stadium.
Unsurprising for a game in Pearse Stadium at this time of year, a strong breeze and rain throughout the match meant both teams would have to manage the game more carefully against the unfavourable conditions.
Corofin used the wind to their advantage in the first half, taking a 0-09 to 0-03 lead into the halftime break thanks to points from a spread of players including the ever reliable Gary Sice.
Ballina were not able to overcome the big lead Corofin had built up, getting the deficit within three points midway through the second half. Injury to Ballina full-back Ger Cafferkey early in the game unfortunately took him out which added on to the fact Mayo mainstay Padraig O’Hora was also unavailable due to injury, meant Ballina were not at full strength for the game.
In the end it was a final score of 0-16 to 0-12 that saw Corofin go through to the Connacht final. They will be likely favourites to add to their illustrious history with another Connacht championship victory and perhaps another All-Ireland final.
Monivea/Abbey are through to the Connacht Intermediate Football final against Castlerea St Kevins of Roscommon after a close win over Kilmeena in Tuam Stadium.
Much like with Corofin’s game in Pearce Stadium, the weather for Monivea/Abbey’s game in Tuam Stadium was not favourable. The teams exchanged scores and tactical adjustments in the first half but despite playing against the breeze Monivea/Abbey would go into halftime with a three point lead.
Kilmeena would not lie down in the second half. Frees and scores from play were exchanged by both teams, however, Monivea/Abbey would hold a one point lead heading into added time.
It was here the game took its craziest twist. After getting the ball behind the Monivea/Abbey defence, Kilmeena’s Sean Ryder was fouled for a penalty. Monivea/Abbey goalkeeper Denis Farragher stepped up to save the penalty and the rebound attempt went wide. Monivea/Abbey would hold their one point lead and will now move on to the final.
Menlough hopes of making it through to a Connacht Junior Football final were dashed after a penalty shootout loss to Laherdane MacHales.
Menlough looked the stronger side after getting out to a five point lead early on. Laherdane would answer back with frees whoever Menlough would hold a 1-5 to 0-3 lead heading into halftime.
Laherdane would take the momentum in the second half, getting the score back even, leading the game into extra time. Both teams once again exchanged scores however Menlough will rue squandered chances, having missed a penalty and another good goal chance in the course of extra time.
With the score tied Laherdane 0-12 to 1-9 Menlough the game headed to penalties. Laherdane to their credit converted all their penalties with Menlough only missing one. Laherdane will now move onto the Connacht Junior Football Final.