Corofin finally prove themselves against ‘superpower’ Nemo
Gary Sice scores 1-4 as Connacht champions bring down the big guns in All-Ireland club final
Corofin’s Gary Sice with Stephen Cronin of Nemo Rangers in the All-Ireland Senior Football Club Championship final at Croke Park. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho
Corofin 2-19 Nemo Rangers 0-10
Corofin forward Gary Sice believes the Galway and Connacht champions have finally proven themselves against one of the big guns on the national stage, after their dismissal of Nemo Rangers in the All-Ireland club final at Croke Park on Saturday.
Nemo Rangers had won seven of their 11 previous All-Ireland finals on St Patrick’s Day, but they were no match for a much slicker Corofin unit.
Corofin have won eight Connacht titles but they were up against a Nemo side with twice that in Munster. However, Sice’s tally of 1-4 helped greatly as Corofin cruised to victory on a bitterly cold afternoon.
“We all know what Nemo are. They are a superpower and that is not being anyway smart or condescending. They are,” said Sice.
“It’s just nice to get an All-Ireland against those guys and to recognise that we beat one of the top dogs.
“That performance could have happened in Tullamore, only the way things went, it was just one of those days.
“The pitch wasn’t great that day and for 14 men to be chasing around that day for an hour, it was hard.
“But we showed fair old perseverance and thickness and kept going. We were very controlled that day which we had to be but it stood to us.
‘Another gear up’
“We are just trying to improve ourselves all the time. It was nice to get another gear up today and it was a good gear up.”
Corofin won club All-Irelands in 1998 and 2015, and the 33-year-old played a massive part in the latter.
Sice has now two club All-Irelands, five Connacht titles and 10 Galway county championships.
But he said after Corofin’s victory three years ago the squad placed huge emphasis on returning to Croke Park and repeating the feat with the current group.
“It was a goal. We had talked about it after 2015, that this group was good enough,” said Sice.
“We knew was coming up talent-wise. We had a lot of young lads on the field today. Myself and Kieran Fitzgerald are the elder statesmen.
“We knew we had a great group there and we just had to keep them all together. They went out there and they did justice to themselves there today.
“We have been very lucky in our club. Our underage coaches have done a fantastic job. The boys went out there today and performed, which is good.”
COROFIN: B Power; C Silke, L Silke, K Fitzgerald; C McGrath, D Wall (0-2), K Molloy; D Burke (0-2), R Steede; M Lundy (0-1), G Sice (1-4, 0-2f), J Leonard (0-1); Michael Farragher (1-1), Martin Farragher (0-6), I Burke (0-2).
Subs: C Cunningham for Molloy (46 mins), Colin Brady for Lundy (49), B O’Donovan for Leonard (56), D McHugh for C Silke (56), Ciarán Brady for Burke (59), D Canney for Martin Farragher (62).
NEMO RANGERS: M A Martin; A Cronin, A O’Reilly, K O’Donovan; T Ó Sé, S Cronin, K Fulignati; A O’Donovan, J Horgan; B O’Driscoll, P Kerrigan (0-1), C O’Brien; P Gumley (0-1), L Connolly (0-6, 0-3f), C Dalton.
Subs: C Hogan for Ó Sé (38 mins), J O’Donovan (0-1) for J Horgan (38), M Dorgan for Gumley (38), C Kiely for Dalton (48), C O’Shea (0-1) for Fulignati (53).
Referee: David Gough (Meath).