Daragh Small reports from Pearse Stadium
MICHEAL LUNDY SCORED a 64th minute point as reigning All-Ireland club champions Corofin survived a massive scare to salvage a replay against Mountbellew-Moylough at Pearse Stadium in Salthill.
Kevin O’Brien’s side remain unbeaten in this competition since Tuam Stars knocked them out in the 2012 semi-final. But when Barry McHugh scored a late free it looked as though a shock was on, before Lundy came up with the equaliser.
It was 0-3 to 0-3 after a poor first half where both teams frequently operated with 15 men behind the ball.
Martin Farragher got a black card at the start of the second half and Mountbellew-Moylough’s first Frank Fox Cup since 1986 looked a real possibility.
Corofin regrouped before Mountbellew-Moylough launched their comeback but they couldn’t see the game out.
An Spidéal had emerged victorious after extra-time in the curtain-raiser, the Galway IFC final, and surprisingly the north Galway rivals were tied at the break here too.
Mountbellew-Moylough won the last two county U21 titles but their young team showed plenty of experience as they dropped deep to frustrate Corofin.
Three-time All-Star county hurler Daithi Burke came into the Corofin team before throw-in, while forward Michael Farragher almost scored a goal after just ten seconds but he sent his shot right and wide.
Ronan Steede with Matthew Barrett.
Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO
The challengers grew in confidence and Galway star McHugh popped over a free to give them the lead in the sixth minute.
Corofin were kept scoreless until Kieran Molloy fisted a point in the 12th minute. Martin Farragher scored their second point in added time at the end of first half.
Mountbellew-Moylough had raced into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead with Eoin Finnerty and McHugh (45) on target but they couldn’t close out the half.
John Daly had a goal chance stopped on the line by Corofin captain Micheál Lundy in the 29th minute. And Martin Farragher and Gary Sice rounded off the scoring.
The teams were level but Corofin suffered a major blow six minutes after the resumption when Martin Farragher hauled down John Daly and got a black card.
It was a test of Corofin’s character and Sice stood up to land a great score from the right in the 40th minute. That was the first time Corofin led and it was followed by a Liam Silke effort.
Paul Donnellan reduced the arrears to the minimum but that was answered by another exquisite strike from Sice. Mountbellew-Moylough were in trouble but McHugh scored again.
Then substitute Colin Ryan levelled the game and Conor Cunningham fouled Stephen Boyle in the 61st minute. McHugh drew the sides level from the free.
There were just three minutes of added-time signalled but Lundy scored in the 64th minute to snatch a draw.
Scorers for Corofin: Gary Sice 0-3, Kieran Molloy 0-1, Martin Farragher 0-1, Liam Silke 0-1, Micheál Lundy 0-1.
of the team
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Scorers for Mountbellew-Moylough: Barry McHugh 0-4 (0-2f, 0-1 ’45), Eoin Finnerty 0-1, Paul Donnellan 0-1, Colin Ryan 0-1.
1. Bernard Power
2. Cathal Silke
3. Kieran Fitzgerald
4. Liam Silke
5. Kieran Molloy
6. Dylan McHugh
7. Dylan Wall
20. Daithi Burke
9. Ronan Steede
10. Gary Sice
15. Micheál Lundy
12. Jason Leonard
13. Martin Farragher
11. Michael Farragher
14. Ian Burke
17. Colin Brady for Martin Farragher (38, black card)
21. Conor Cunningham for Wall (53)
18. Dylan Canney for I Burke (59)
1. Damien Boyle
22. Gary Sweeney
2. Mark Mannion
4. Colin Murray
5. Noel McDonagh
17. Ger Donoghue
6. John Daly
8. Michael Daly
9. Matthew Barrett
10. Stephen Boyle
7. Paul Donnellan
14. Eoin Finnerty
18. Colm Mannion
11. Barry McHugh
12. Leo Donnellan
15. Colin Ryan for C Mannion (53)
3. David Hogan for McDonagh (57)
20. Billy Mannion for Boyle (61)
Referee: James Molloy (Galway).
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