Corofin 2-7 O’Callaghan’s Mills 1-9
A GOAL from substitute Darren Malone two minutes from the end of normal time proved to be the decisive score in this intermediate football championship semi-final at Shannon on Sunday afternoon.
In a well-contested game, the greater experience of the Corofin side helped them to book a date in the final, where they will meet Cratloe.
The game ended on a disappointing note for the ’Mills, who had centre-back Declan Donovan sent off on a straight red card a minute into injury time, following a challenge on Corofin substitute Donnacda Kelleher.
There was little between the sides throughout and with the exception of a brief spell in the middle of the first half, the margin between the sides never exceeded two points.
Corofin led two points to one after eight minutes but for the next 15 the ’Mills had the better of affairs. Bryan Donnellan scored the game’s first goal in the 12th minute from the penalty spot when referee Kevin Walsh ruled that Paul Lynch’s effort was illegally blocked. Lynch and Pat Donnellan followed with points and the ’Mills led by four 20 minutes into the game.
A brace from veteran Colm Clancy closed the gap before the North Clare side were awarded a penalty when Darragh Shannon was hauled down in the square. Diarmuid Daly came up from corner-back to convert the effort to give his side a one-point lead at half time, 1-5 to 1-4.
The ’Mills returned with Noel Donnellan in for Gerry Cooney but before the play resumed, referee Walsh booked Corofin goalkeeper Kieran Carkill, apparently for something that happened at the end of the first half.
Corofin had the first score of the half from John Keane but a brace from Tulla’s Paul Lynch, who plays club football with the ’Mills, tied up the game for third time as the end of the third quarter approached.
O’Callaghan’s Mills were now enjoying the better of the exchanges and further points from Bryan Donnellan (free) and John Cooney edged them two clear with nine minutes to go. John Keane pulled one back for Corofin but the ’Mills were still one in front with just two minutes to play.
Then centre-back Darragh Clancy won possession and immediately sent a long delivery down to the left corner-forward position to his uncle Colm, who used all his experience before fisting the ball across the goal to the waiting Darren Malone, who flicked it into the net.
Paul Lynch replied with a point for the ’Mills but try as they did in three minutes of added time, they just could not find a way through for the equaliser.
Luke O’Loughlin was outstanding at midfield for the winners and his ability to win possession was a key factor in his team’s victory. The Shannons, Darragh and John, caused a lot of problems for the O’Calaghan’s Mills defence while John Keane and Colm Clancy kicked some great scores. In defence, Darragh Clancy had a fine game at centre-back while Oliver O’Loughlin and Eamonn Malone got through a lot of good work.
Jonathon Lyons and John Cooney did well in the ’Mills defence while Bryan Donnellan and Paul Lynch accounted for the majority of their scores.
Referee Kevin Walsh issued a total of seven yellow cards during the course of the game, five to Corofin and two to the ’Mills whose centre-back Declan Donovan was sent off in the 61st minute.
Corofin: Kieran Carkill, Oliver O’Loughlin, Eamonn Malone, Diarmuid Daly, Eamonn Dunne, Darragh Clancy, Neil Killeen, Luke O’Loughlin, Dara Shannon, Fergal Neylon, John Shannon, Damian Ryan, Brendan Keane, John Keane, Colm Clancy.
Subs: Donnacda Kelleher for Dunne; Darren Malone for B Keane; Kevin Heagney for Ryan; Eamonn Malone for F Neylon.
Scorers: Colm Clancy and John Keane (0-3) each; Diarmuid Daly (penalty) and Darren Malone (1-0) each; Damian Ryan (0-1, free).
O’Callaghan’s Mills: Emmet O’Brien, Jonathon Lyons, Niall Donovan, Gary Neville, John Cooney, Declan Donovan, Gerry Cooney, James Murphy, Con
Collins, Eoin Pewter, Fergus Donovan, Pat Donnellan, Paul Lynch, Bryan Donnellan, Conor Cooney.
Subs: Noel Donnellan for Gerry Cooney; Padraic Hickey for F Donovan; Noel Nash for Collins; Derek Fahy for J Cooney.
Scorers: Bryan Donnellan (1-2, frees); Paul Lynch (0-4, two frees); Pat Donnellan, James Murphy and John Cooney (0-1) each.
Referee: Kevin Walsh, Wolfe Tones.