*Diarmuid Cahill and Cillian McGroary. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
COROFIN are through to the semi-finals of the Munster intermediate club hurling championship.
Venue; McDonagh Park Nenagh (Tipperary)
When completely under the cosh a superb display of scoring efficiency that saw Corofin raid for 1-4 from five attempts was enough to propel them to a Munster semi-final. Leading by four points at the interval the Clare intermediate champions had to withstand a determined Lorrha/Dorra start to the second period.
The Tipperary side were in complete control having hit the first three points but crucially for Corofin they also had three critical wides. From that moment, man of the match Diarmuid Cahill got the second major of his brilliant hat trick there was only ever going to be one winner and in the end Corofin ran out convincing ten point victors.
One has often heard of the proverbial two halves but this game had the proverbial two quarters. The first fifteen minutes was an open fast free flowing game with 2-5 of the 2-6 scored coming from play. The heavens though opened up and with conditions deteriorating at an alarming rate the pitch cut up and the second quarter was a complete dogfight.
Frees were now commonplace and out of the nine white flags raised in this period sixty percent were from placed balls. Corofin then had a dream sequence, raiding for 1-1 inside ninety seconds, both scores coming from the stick of Diarmuid Cahill, the goal coming when Oisín Guinan was overturned in possession after a short puck out.
The Tipperary side responded in emphatic fashion when Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher found Eoin McIntyre on the overlap with a perfectly executed pass. McIntyre made no mistake coolly dispatching from close range. James Organ a late replacement for Kevin Keane then took ownership of the contest landing three points in quick succession.
At the end of the opening quarter, Joe Cahill’s Corofin led by two. A four point scoring spree at the beginning of the second quarter which included a monster Conor Leen point extended that lead to six. At this juncture Colm Fogarty was keeping the Tipperary side in touch with placed balls but they can be aggrieved at the very last score of the half when Bonner Maher showed a magical touch and offload to corner forward McIntyre who bore down on goal. Referee Nicky Barry had his hand raised for advantage but blew up and awarded the free in to roars of disapproval from the Tipperary faithful.
On the resumption of play a Cian Hogan beauty ignited a purple patch and suddenly the lead was down to just a solitary point. The hugely impressive James Organ got Corofin motoring again with a fine point in the 38th minute. By the end of the third quarter the North Clare side were in cruise control leading 2-13 to 1-10.
The sides traded points before Cahill completed his hat trick when latching on to a breaking ball and firing a rocket to the top corner. The day ended on a sour note for the Tipperary side with Bonner Maher seeing red for an off the ball striking offence but that won’t trouble Corofin as they march into the final four.
Scorers for Corofin: Diarmuid Cahill 3-2, James Organ 0-4, Gearoid Kelly 0-4 (4f), Gearoid Cahill 0-3, Conor Leen 0-2, Jamie Malone, Killian O’Connor, Damien Ryan 0-1 each
Scorers for Lorrha/Dorra: Colm Fogarty 0-10 (9f), Eoin McIntyre 1-1, Cian Hogan, Christopher Fogarty, Niall McIntyre 0-1 each
1: Liam Corbett
2: Damien O’Loughlin
3: Fionn Clancy
4: Marc O’Loughlin
5: Conor Leen
6: Killian O’Connor
7: Damien Ryan
8: Cillian McGroary
9: Gearoid Cahill
10: Jamie Malone
17: James Organ
12: Gearoid Kelly
13: Shane O’Brien
11: Diarmuid Cahill
15: Micheal Kelly
14: Kevin Keane for O’Brien (54)
22: Fergus Killeen for Leen (60)
18: Eoin Davoren for Malone (60)
19: Shay Malone for M O’Loughlin (60)
1: Michael Kennedy
2: Conor Hogan
3: Dennis O’Meara
4: Tom Duggan
17: Oisín Guinan
6: Michael Dolan (C)
9: Ciarán Hough
8: Alan O’Meara
12: Niall McIntyre
13: Christopher Fogarty
14: Cian Hogan
7: Darragh Guinan
10: Colm Fogarty
11: Patrick Maher
15: Eoin McIntyre
5: Daniel O’Donoghue for Guinan (14)
18: Donnacha O’Meara for A O’Meara (49)
22: David Fogarty for N McIntyre (55)
Referee: Nicky Barry (Waterford)