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Disappointed Corofin players and management look on during the presentation of the cup after the Munster Intermediate final against Na Gaeil at Mallow. Photograph by John Kelly.

FOOTBALL: Third quarter Gaeil sends Corofin off-course

Munster Intermediate Club Football Championship Final
Na Gaeil (Kerry) 6-15 Corofin 1-12

KERRY’S unrelenting superiority of the Munster Intermediate Club Championship continued unabated when brushing aside the determined challenge of Corofin to cement a first ever crown in Mallow, reports Eoin Brennan.
Able to fend off the first two blows to the solar-plexus to only trail by three by the break, Corofin would be finally knocked to the canvas on the restart when Na Gaeil upped the ante considerably to clinically kick three more goals and finish the game as a contest at 5-12 to 0-08.
Taking history into consideration alone, the fact that Na Gaeil’s victory ensured a 14th provincial intermediate title for Kerry in the last 15 seasons showed how much Corofin were up against it from the outset.
However, in a first half that they arguably edged, goals at the start of the first two quarters through Diarmuid O’Connor and Jack Bourke would hamper the Clare champions’ progress on the scoreboard.
Early points from chief marksmen Jamie Malone and Gearoid Cahill appeared to have settled Corofin into their strike, only to be hit by a goal through county senior O’Connor.
Corofin didn’t have as much luck at the other end when Robin Mounsey cut in from the left corner, only to see his blistering shot just drift wide of the far post as Na Gaeil relievedly clung onto a 1-3 to 0-4 advantage by the water break.
Diarmuid O’Connor was again instrumental in Na Gaeil’s decisive second goal on the resumption when driving towards goal before hand passing across to the waiting Jack Bourke to palm to the net at the back post.
Corofin regrouped however and would finish the half on the front foot after successive points from Jamie Malone (2) and Gearoid Kelly lessened the half-time damage to three at 2-4 to 0-7.
O’Connor’s switch to the centre allied to a more aggressive approach to the Clare champions’ kick-outs would reap rich dividends for Na Gaeil as they thundered into the new half wit a goal after only 45 seconds through Jack Sheehan, a catalyst for a difficult quarter for Corofin who found it difficult to even get out of the own half when being outscored by 3-8 to 0-1.
Languishing 20 points in arrears by the turn of the final quarter, the only way was up for Corofin and despite feeding off scraps, Corofin’s attacking unit made the most of their more plentiful possession in the final quarter.
Responding with the first four points, three from Gearoid Cahill frees, Corofin even reacted positively to a fortuitous sixth goal for Na Gaeil through too-scorer Darragh Carmody when substitute Eoin Davoren was fouled for a late penalty that Damien O’Loughlin duly dispatched to the bottom right corner of the net.
It wouldn’t alter the result but certainly painted a better picture of Corofin’s efforts as Na Gaeil proved worthy champions to add a Munster intermediate crown to the Junior equivalent secured two years previously.

Na Gaeil: Devon Burns; Enda O’Connor, Niall O’Mahony, Damien Bourke; Fergal Barry, Eoin Doody (Captain), Andrew Barry; Jack Barry, Stefan Okunbar; James O’Connor, Dan Goggin, Jack Sheehan; Darragh Carmody, Diarmuid O’Connor, Jack Bourke
Subs: Eoin O’Neill for Doody (39), Darragh Reen for Goggin (44), Kieran O’Donovan for A. Barry (46), Eoin Walsh for Okunbar (50), Ger O’Connor for J. O’Connor (56)

Darragh Carmody (2-5, 1-0 Pen, 2f); Jack Sheehan (2-2); Jack Bourke (1-1); Dan Goggin (0-3); Diarmuid O’Connor (1-0); Eoin Doody, James O’Connor, Darragh Reen, Jack Barry (0-1 each)

Corofin: Luke Neylon; John Rees, Cilléin Mullins, Marc O’Loughlin; Ross Hayes, Damien O’Loughlin, Colm Rice; Kevin Keane, Fionn Clancy (Captain); Cillian McGroary, Jamie Malone, Gearoid Kelly; Robin Mounsey, Gearoid Cahill, Diarmuid Cahill
Subs: Eoin Clancy for McGroary (36), Brendan Keane for M. O’Loughlin (48), Cian Doolin for K. Keane (50), Shay Malone for Hayes (52), Eoin Davoren for D. Cahill (57)

Scorers: Gearoid Cahill (0-5, 4f, 1m); Jamie Malone (0-4); Gearoid Kelly (0-2); Damien O’Loughlin (1-0 Pen); Diarmuid Cahill (0-1f)

Jonathan Hayes (Limerick)

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