A late goal from Gearoid Kelly proved vital as reigning Intermediate Champions Corofin secured their Senior status for 2017 with a two point win over Kilrush Shamrocks.
Jamesy Mc Conigley reports from Quilty
This game had plenty at stake as both sides traded scores early from free-takers Gearoid O’Brien and Damien Ryan. There was plenty of intensity but it wasn’t always easy on the eye with sixteen wides being kicked in the first half. The breakthrough came with twenty two minutes on the clock, Jamie Malone burst onto a Fionn Clancy hand pass to round Thomas Maloney and lash the ball to the net. There wasn’t another score in the remaining 10 minutes of the half leaving the scoreline, Corofin 1-02 to Kilrush’s 0-03.
The second half burst into life when Davy Downes landed a great point from distance to leave the minimum between the sides. It would have took a brave punter to call this one when Ruadhri O’Connor’s curled attempt split the post to level up the match. Kilrush were in the ascendency and Gearoid O’Brien who was so instrumental for the Shams all day raised a green flag, he darted through the Corofin defence and coolly finished past Kieran Carkill.
Davy Downes added another to mount the pressure on the North Clare side. But that’s as good as it got for Kilrush, John Keane and Damien Ryan clawed Corofin back into contention with scores in the final quarter.
The match winner materialised later on, Jamie Malone bundle his way through the Kilrush wall of defence and thumped his attempt which ricocheted off Niall Clancy’s arm and into Gearoid Kelly’s path, Kelly drove his effort into the Kilrush net and sent the Corofin support into delirium.
Kilrush will now face St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield in two weeks time in a winner takes all fixture.
Corofin: Kieran Carkill; Shay Malone, Manus Malone, Donnacha Kelleher; Colm Rice, Brendan Keane, David Corbett; Damien Ryan, John Keane; Stephen Heagney, Jamie Malone, Fionn Clancy; Gearoid Kelly, Jason Tierney and Eoin Davoren. Subs: Eoin Clancy for David Corbett and Padraic O Dea for Eoin Davoren
Kilrush: Thomas Maloney; Conor Bolton, Calum Bond, Niall Clancy; Cathal Carrig, Mathew Maloney, John Hayes; Cian Murray, Darragh Bolton; Jim Young, Sean Madigan, Liam Madigan; Gearoid O’Brien, Owen Tarrant and Ruadhri O’Connor. Subs: John Kelleher for Cian Murray, Davy Downes for Sean Madigan and Con O’Brien for Owen Tarrant
Referee: Niall Quinn (St Josephs Miltown)