Burke’s goal decisive as Corofin win in extra-time
Corofin 2-15 St Brigid’s 1-14 After extra-time
Corofin qualified for their fourth Connacht final in a row when All-Star hurling fullback Daithí Burke blasted home the crucial score at Tuam Stadium yesterday.
Burke came on as a substitute in the second half of this semi-final when St Brigid’s rallied with a good revival. The Roscommon champions looked dead and buried when they trailed by five points with 13 minutes remaining but they never gave up and a goal from Cathal McHugh hauled them right back into contention.
That helped them get the gap down to two points but reigning champions Corofin looked set to advance as the game slipped into stoppage time. However, St Brigid’s finished strongly against the wind, with Senan Kilbride cutting the margin to a point with a free from 20 metres and then the former Roscommon player showed commendable composure to force the game to extra-time when he landed one from 35 metres in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
That forced the game to extra-time, with Corofin again gaining an edge against the breeze to lead by 1-15 to 1-14 at the interval, thanks to points from Jason Leonard, Gary Sice and Ronan Steede in response to efforts from Padraig Kelly, a 45 from goalkeeper Shane Mannion for St Brigid’s.
The decisive score came just 20 seconds after the restart when Ian Burke collected a rebound to set up his cousin and Galway’s All-Ireland winning hurling full-back found the net with a cracking shot.
There was still plenty of time for St Brigid’s to come back but Corofin, having already endured one good revival from the Roscommon champions, closed out the deal this time to set up a Connacht final date with Castlebar Mitchels.
That clash in two weeks will be a repeat of the 2015 final which was won by Castlebar Mitchels.
They were in a good position when they led by 1-5 to 0-6 at the end of the opening half, having played against the wind. A goal from Ian Burke, after a superb pass from Michael Lundy, saw them draw level seven minutes from the break before Jason Leonard edged them in front for the first time.
They pushed that lead out to 1-9 to 0-7 going into the final quarter but St Brigid’s hit back and McHugh’s goal after a build-up involving Ronan Stack and Kelly, set up an exciting finish.
But in the end Daithi Burke’s goal proved the decisive score as the Galway champions advanced.
All-Star hurling fullback Daithí Burke: was a second-half substitute