County and provincial champions dig deep to book place in All-Ireland final

There are all types of performances that catch the eye but the secret of Corofin’s continued success is that they have this innate ability to dip into their locker and, whatever is required, pull out the one that best suits the occasion.

A man down following the sending off of full-forward Martin Farragher after just a minute at O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Saturday, the mindset was clear. The buzz words began to ring. Composure. Patience. Keep ball . . . Defend. Counter . . . Turnover, turnover, turnover.

While Corofin have produced far more swashbuckling displays over the years – none less than in their All-Ireland club victories in 1998 and 2015 – Saturday’s effort has to rank among their finest efforts, given the circumstances and obstacles they faced from the outset of this fixture. To play practically the entire contest a man down speaks volumes for the culture of their squad.

“Yeah, given the circumstances (it was a great performance) but we are just hugely relieved to be back in a club final again,” beamed man of the match and full-back Kieran Fitzgerald after the final whistle.

“After losing Martin so early on, all credit to our lads, they knuckled down and everybody stuck to the plan. It wasn’t a great game of football – we missed quite a bit and I am sure they did as well – but it is funny. You prepare for a lot of things and at the end of the day it still comes down to heart and stuff that you can’t really prepare for. You either have it or you don’t.

“In fairness, our lads showed guts there. They tackled and they harried. There were some super turnovers. That is just pure guts and heart and a will to try and win a ball. You can’t really train that. Our lads were super. It is probably a game that won’t live long in the memory for the neutral but it is our avenue back to a club final and we are delighted.”

He paid particular tribute to the work the likes of Ronan Steede and Michael Farragher did around the middle of the park – epitomising work-rate and composure. “They are class at that. They are super when you need time on the ball.

“Moorefield were eager to win the ball back and they were rushing up, and rushing tackles, and our boys were just drawing the ball and slipping it off which was super. It was a tough, tough game.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City  Tribune.