Pearses 3-19 Corofin 2-16: It wasn’t until the final minute of extra-time that the result of this game looked certain. It was close all through and even when Pearses went four clear in extra-time, Corofin brought it back to two. With 28 minutes gone in normal time, Pearses were two points down. Points from Enda Cunniffe and the equaliser from Tomás Flannery forced extra-time. It was a ‘sweet’ win, which sees Pearses promoted to Junior for 2019.
Pearses had the best possible start when Ronan Skehill had the ball in the net in the first minute. His shot half stopped by the keeper, but slipped over the line. The next twenty minutes were a sign of what was to come, as the momentum swung back and forth. Corofin drew level on the twentieth minute with a Conor Creaven goal, and took the lead for the first time as their star man Alan O’Donovan pointed from play, 1-4 to 1-3.
Two Tomás Flannery points gave Pearses back the lead, but then two in a row from Corofin seen them take it back. A long range point on the run by Damien Wynne levelled the game just before half-time, 1-6 apiece. There was still time for another Corofin attack and Edmund Flannery made a good save to keep the game level going into the break.
11 minutes into the second half Corofin led 2-9 to 1-9. Alan O’Donovan their goalscorer. Cunniffe, Flannery and Wynne adding to the Pearses tally. Ten minutes later, Corofin still led, by two. A high ball into the square was knocked down by sub Cyril Donnellan and Damien Wynne finished to the net, 2-11 to 2-10.
Corofin drew level with a David Morris point. Cyril Donnellan cut in from the left at the opposite end to rattle the post soon after. Points from Morris and O’Donovan seemed to seal it for Corofin, but Man of the Match Enda Cunniffe cut the margin back to one as the clock ticked into injury time. A well worked move seen Tomas Flannery level the game from the right wing. 2-13 each, extra time to come.
Pearses were well on top in the first half of extra-time, outscoring Corofin 0-5 to 0-2 in this spell. Enda Cunniffe with four and Richie Lally also pointed, as Pearses seemed to have the superior fitness at this point. 2-18 to 2-14 at half-time. O’Donovan had two points on the board for Corofin in the second half of extra-time to cut the gap to two. A floated ball by O’Donovan to the back post soon after was just too high for two Corofin players. It could well have ended up in the net if either got a touch. A shot from sub Ronan Bellew ended up in the net and Kerrill Hardiman kicked the insurance point.
As captain Gary Lally mentioned in his speech, no Corofin team is easily beaten, given their standing in Galway football and yesterday was no different. It was a great panel effort, with each of the subs playing important parts in securing the win. Of course some credit must also be given to the fruit pastilles sent in for extra-time by Eddie Mitchell! It’s on to a County Final now, with the West Board Champions still to be decided.
Pearses: E Flannery; A Naughton, S Hardiman, J Lally; R Carr, F Flannery, G Lally; T McDonagh, L Morrissey; R Lally (0-1), E Cunniffe (0-9), D Wynne (1-2); T Flannery (0-6), S Raftery, R Skehill (1-0). Subs: K Hardiman (0-1), C Donnellan, R Flannery, J Flannery, A Finn, R Bellew (1-0), D Skehill, K Clancy, P Lally.