*Diarmuid Cahill’s attention is not deterred by a flying hurley. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
Timely goals from Diarmuid Cahill (2) and Eoin Clancy paved Corofin’s way to a quarter-final meeting with Smith O’Brien’s after eventually pulling away from Cratloe in Fr. Murphy Memorial Park in Newmarket-on-Fergus on Saturday afternoon.
Venue: Fr Murphy Memorial Park, Newmarket-on-Fergus
With this Round 2 tie postponed a fortnight ago due to an COVID-19 outbreak in Cratloe, ringrustiness and the harsh weather conditions certainly played their part in a scrappy affair. However, it was Corofin who incrementally improved as the hour developed and deservedly put clear daylight between the sides in a clincial second half display.
Backed by ever-impressive displays from the Cahill brothers Gearoid and Diarmuid, centre-back Damien Ryan and Conor Leen, the North Clare side led from Diarmuid Cahill’s fifth minute goal until the finish but initially found it difficult to stamp their authority on the tie in the opening period despite having the aid of a gale.
Cratloe, despite the absence of the Costigan clan, battled admirably throughout and thanks to Sean Gallagher (3) and Tomás Ryan, managed to keep in touch by the break as Corofin only held a 1-7 to 0-5 advantage.
Requiring a spark, Corofin went for the jugular on the restart and after an early warning sign from Diarmuid Cahill who just cleared the crossbar from close range in the 37th minute, the minor would make full amends two minutes later when teed up by elder brother Gearoid to billow the net for a second time at 2-8 to 0-5.
That would prove the decisive score as Corofin would never looked back thereafter, with a third goal arriving just before the final water break, this time Diarmuid Cahill turning provider for Eoin Clancy to flick a teasing delivery across the square to the net and extend the gap to 11.
A brace of Sean Gallagher frees did lessen the damage but after emptying their bench, Corofin would control matters for the remainder albeit that they didn’t always demonstrate that dominance on the scoreboard thanks to five wides.
Cratloe’s last opportunity at a consolation goal was somehow prevented after substitute David O’Brien’s dipping effort by parried by goalkeeper Liam Corbett only for fellow replacement Oisin Liston to pull the rebound wide of the target.
Instead, it was Corofin who completed the scoring when Killian Neylon arrowed over from the left wing to cement their passage to the last five, only two years on from contesting the semi-finals.
Scorers for Corofin: Diarmuid Cahill (2-1); Gearoid Cahill (0-3f); Eoin Clancy (1-0); Damien Ryan (2f), Jamie Malone (0-2 each); Kevin Heagney, Killian Neylon (0-1 each)
Scorers for Cratloe: Sean Gallagher (0-5f); Tomás Ryan (0-2)
1: Liam Corbett
2: Conor Leen
3: Donnacha Kelleher
4: Sean O’Brien
18: Fergus Killeen
6: Damien Ryan
7: Cian O’Dea
5: Damien O’Loughlin
11: Jamie Malone
10: Gearoid Kelly
12: Gearoid Cahill
14: Kevin Heagney
13: Diarmuid Cahill
8: Eoin Clancy
15: Kevin Keane
20: Fionn Clancy for Kelly (HT)
19: Micheál Duffy for E. Clancy (45)
9: Eoin Davoren for D. Cahill (45)
24: Killian Neylon for Keane (47)
17: Gearoid Hanrahan for Leen (57)
1: James Hickey
20: Domhnall Organ
3: Phillip Gleeson
17: Jack Manley
12: Mark O’Brien
8: Daithi Collins
7: Caimin Deegan
9: Gordon O’Neill
11: Kevin Danaher
10: Sean Gallagher
18: Sean Ryan
14: Jack Danaher
21: Tomás Ryan
19: Padraigh Chaplin
13: Mark Gallagher
24: Oisin Liston for Ryan (HT)
25: Thomas O’Connor for Deegan (HT)
27: David O’Brien for Chaplin (48)
22: Kyle Neylon for J. Danaher (55)
Referee: Kevin Corry (Sixmilebridge)