Little time to celebrate for Corofin's Michael Lundy
Corofin captain wants to savour spectacular All-Ireland win over Dr Crokes at Croke Park
Corofin’s Michael Lundy holds aloft the Andy Merrigan Cup after their victory over Dr Crokes in the All-Ireland senior club football championship final at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
No rest for the winners. After Sunday’s spectacular performance in putting All-Ireland club titles back to back, Corofin are getting ready to re-enter orbit in Galway with the county league already under way.
“The club championship will probably start in about May or June,” says victorious captain Michael Lundy, “but the league is up and running already so we’ve two games to make up. We won’t worry about it yet.”
In the space of 12 months Corofin have demolished two of football’s most distinguished clubs, Cork’s Nemo Rangers and Dr Crokes of Killarney, in one-sided finals at Croke Park, by an aggregate margin of 27 points, which rises to 37 if you add the 2015 success against Slaughtneil.
“Yeah, yeah,” he says, “it’s a perfect pitch. We love to play football on it. Plenty of space and perfect conditions.”
It’s probably the most special because it’s back-to-back; it is something special
Corofin’s pace and precision on the ball and the effortless intricacy of their combination play has been a feature of the three titles they have won in the past five seasons.
For Lundy, though, this year’s was particularly satisfying – and not just because he was captain.
“It’s probably the most special because it’s back-to-back. It is a long journey to win one and a long journey to get back into it again; it is something special.”
He is non-committal about the possibilities of renewing his county career with Galway (he wasn’t involved last year), although county manager Kevin Walsh is likely to come calling for a number of the players now that the Andy Merrigan trophy is safely back on the club’s sideboard.
Lundy has played a prominent role in the three triumphs, scoring a goal in the first All-Ireland final, scoring a goal in last season’s Connacht final just days after having his appendix removed and this season kicking the late, late equaliser to ensure they didn’t lose the county final to Mountbellew-Moylough.
In fact, the club hasn’t lost in championship since Sunday’s opponents defeated them in the 2017 All-Ireland semi-final.
It’s something special we’re after doing – only the fourth club to do it
“Yeah, Dr Crokes was the last one we lost. It probably was a bit sweet to get the victory over them because they were worthy winners over us two years ago and we learned a lot from that day. Credit must go to them because they probably pushed us on – we are a better team because of that day.”
The win catapults Corofin into exclusive company. Only four clubs have retained the title in the 48-year history of the championship, and their fourth title moves the Galway club into third place in the roll of honour behind Nemo and Crossmaglen.
Next year offers the prospect of going where no club – in hurling or football – has previously gone, by winning a third successive All-Ireland, but Lundy would first prefer to celebrate the two-in-a-row.
“It’s something special we’re after doing – only the fourth club to do it. We’ll definitely enjoy it and whatever happens, happens for next year. We’ll worry about that when the time comes.”