Connacht SFC: Leonard leads champions Corofin to crushing Clann win

Forward scores 2-6 in 27-point victory for All-Ireland holders at Dr Hyde Park

Corofin’s Jason Leonard scores one of his two goals  in the Connacht Club SFC semi-final against Clann na nGael at Dr Hyde Park. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Corofin’s Jason Leonard scores one of his two goals in the Connacht Club SFC semi-final against Clann na nGael at Dr Hyde Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Corofin (Galway) 4-22 Clann na nGael (Roscommon) 0-7

Corofin ran riot against Clann na nGael, running out 27-point winners in a ridiculously one-sided Connacht senior club football semi-final at Dr Hyde Park.

Both clubs have 15 provincial titles between them, but it was Corofin who emphatically displayed their undisputed superiority this decade with a superb team performance from pillar to post.

The reigning All-Ireland champions, liberated from the defensive conundrums they have had to face in eking out a sixth Galway championship in succession recently, were irresistible, with man-of-the-match Jason Leonard helping himself to 2-6 over the hour.

For Clann na nGael, it made for painful viewing, and their cause wasn’t helped by the loss of Donie Shine to a black card after 30 minutes, followed quickly by the dismissal of midfielder Ultan Harney on a straight red shortly afterwards.

An early point from Ronan Steede was followed immediately by a goal from full forward Colin Brady who replaced All Star Ian Burke, who was suffering with a rib injury, in their starting 15.

A brace of Shine frees kept Clann na nGael in the game early on but Corofin, aided by the energy provided by Dylan Wall and Kieran Molloy from their wing-back berths, soon put significant daylight between the sides.

Cathal Callinan of Clann na nGael dejected at the final whistle. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Cathal Callinan of Clann na nGael dejected at the final whistle. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Four points in succession from Leonard were followed by further scores from Brady, Michael Lundy and Wall (two). Then, in the 29th minute, Mike Farragher’s effort for a point was held up in the wind. Molloy chased what seemed like a lost cause, gathered and squared the ball unselfishly for Lundy to net his side’s second goal.

Leading by 2-10 to 0-3 at the break, the one-way traffic continued in the second half as Corofin toyed with a Clann side bereft of any confidence. Leonard emphatically crashed the ball to the net to banish any hopes of a Clann revival soon after the restart.

The same player finished off a brilliant team move for Corofin’s fourth goal in the 46th minute as Kevin O’Brien’s side set up a Connacht final meeting against Mayo champions Ballintubber in a fortnight.

COROFIN: B Power; C Silke, K Fitzgerald, L Silke (0-1); K Molloy, D McHugh, D Wall (0-2); C Brady, R Steede (0-1); M Lundy (1-3), J Leonard (2-6, three frees, one 45), Mike Farragher (0-1); Martin Farragher (0-1), C Brady (1-1), G Sice (0-2, one free).

Subs: C Cunningham for Wall (33 mins), D Canney (0-2) for Brady (35), D Silke (0-2) for Sice (42), G Burke for C Silke (49), B O’Donovan for Farragher (53), C McGrath for McHugh (55).

CLANN NA nGAEL: R O’Reilly; R Gavin, D Pettit, S Pettit; G Pettit, S Flynn, D Connaughton; U Harney, C Shine (0-1); C McManus, D Shine (0-2, two frees), E Kenny (0-1); D McManus, C Lennon (0-1, one free), J Fahy.

Subs: M Scally for D McManus (25 mins), C Callinan (0-1) for Shine (b/c, 30), D Sumner for Fahy (h/t), J Dunning (0-1) for C McManus (h/t), D Duff for Gavin (36), N Connaughton for Kenny (49).

Referee: J Henry (Mayo).

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