Corofin in a different class as they claim second All-Ireland title

Derry side Slaughtneil failed to live with Galway champions once they hit top gear

Corofin 1-14 Slaughtneil 0-7

Too easy, in every way. Corofin exuded class in cruising to victory over Slaughtneil to claim a second AIB All-Ireland club football championship in front of a crowd of 29,752 at Croke Park.

Slaughtneil emptied its townland of its inhabitants who decamped en masse to lend support; and although their players gave their all, it was to no avail against the Galway and Connacht champions who simply outclassed the Derrymen.

Perhaps it might have been different if they had been awarded an early penalty, just two minutes in, after full forward Paul Bradley seemed to be fouled when bearing down on goal. It might have helped their cause. But, then, perhaps not: in the final minute of the game, Slaughtneil did get a penalty. However, Cormac O'Doherty was wider than a country gate with the shot. It all seemed to sum up Slaughtneil's day. Murphy's Law and all that. Whatever could go wrong, did go wrong.


Corofin who dethroned reigning champions St Vincents in the semi-finals and have now claimed a second All-Ireland and first since 1998 – were in a different class in all areas of the pitch. Daithi Burke and Ronan Steede dominated centrefield but it was the Corofin attack which pulled the strings that led to as comfortable a victory as they could ever have imagined.

Gary Sice was impeccable with his point taking from frees, while Michael Farragher led the line superbly from centre half forward. Yet, standing above everyone was full forward Michéal Lundy who lit up the first half especially with three points in a 90 seconds period that acted like a hammer blow to Slaughtneil.

Once Corofin upped the intensity levels, Slaughtneil couldn’t live with them. Although the Derrymen led 0-2 to 0-1 after 10 minutes, it was pretty much all Corofin from there on until the half-time whistle sounded to give Slaughtneil some respite from the relentless attacks from their opponents.

Corofin's only goal arrived in the 17th minute, Sice calmly supplying the pass to Martin Farragher who finished with aplomb, firing his shot low and under Antoin McMullan. In fairness to the Slaughtneil goalkeeper, the damage would have been significantly heavier only for McMullan pulling off two top class saves to deny Burke and Martin Farragher who looked certain to claim his second goal only for the 'keeper to produce a fine diving save.

Whatever respite Slaughtneil got at half-time lasted only that 15 minute spell in the dressing room. Once play resumed, Corofin continued where they had left off and Slaughtneil were mainly reduced to shooting from distance. One period of play epitomised the actual match: Christopher McKaigue's shot from distance fell short, only for Corofin goalkeeper Tom Healy to launch an attack from deep that finished with Lundy heading for goal. He was stopped in his tracks, illegally, and Sice pointed the resultant free.

Occasionally, Slaughtneil managed to stem the tide – with Ger Bradley proving to be their main threat – but, for the most part, it was all Corofin. Fittingly, given their overall contributions, centrefielders Steede and Burke popped up to land points of their own in what was overall a hugely impressive performance. Worthy winners, to be sure.

COROFIN: T Healy; C McGrath, K Fitzgerald, C Silke; G Higgins, A Burke, L Silke (0-1, free); D Burke (0-1), R Steede (0-1); G Sice (0-5, four frees), Michael Farragher (0-1) , G Delaney (0-1); Martin Farragher (1-0), M Lundy (0-3), I Burke.

Subs: D Wall for Martin Farragher (49 mins), Justin Burke for Steede (55 mins), M Comer for C Silke, C Cunningham for Higgins (both 56 mins), K Murphy for Delaney, J Canney (0-1) for I Burke (both 57 mins).

SLAUGHTNEIL: A McMullan; F McEldowney, B Rodgers, K McKaigue; C Cassidy, C McKaigue (0-1), B McGuigan; Patsy Bradley, P McGuigan; P Kelly (0-1, free), C Bradley (0-1, free), R Bradley; G Bradley (0-3), Paul Bradley (0-1), C O'Doherty.

Subs: P McNeill for Cassidy, P Cassidy for R Bradley, S McGuigan for Kelly ( all 43 mins), S Kelly for P Bradley, F McEldowney for C Bradley (both 51 mins), P Kearney for B McGuigan (56 mins).

Referee: D Coldrick (Meath).