Martin Farragher scored six points from play for Corofin as they claimed their third AIB All-Ireland club football title with a victory over Nemo Rangers at Croke Park.
The Galway and Connacht champions were victorious on both of previous visits to headquarters on St Patrick’s Day, and held a 2-09 to 0-05 advantage at half-time here.
Michael Farragher and Gary Sice scored the goals for Kevin O’Brien’s side as they tallied an insurmountable lead by half-time in the bitter cold.
But it was the exploits of their full-forward, who was sent-off early in their All-Ireland semi-final win over Moorefield, that was most impressive.
Nemo Rangers eased past Slaughtneil on a 2-19 to 1-14 scoreline last time out. But Corofin required a Liam Silke goal to help them through their semi-final against Moorefield, where they had Martin Farragher sent-off early.
The wide expanses suited Corofin better in the opening half and Gary Sice scored their first point in the fourth minute.
They revelled in the space given to their forwards and three minutes later Sice blasted low and hard to Micheal Aodh Martin’s bottom left corner when he was afforded another opportunity.
Corofin are All-Ireland senior football champions! pic.twitter.com/FnfPXraA51— The GAA (@officialgaa) March 17, 2018
Up the other end Corofin goalkeeper Bernard Power did well to save to his right from Luke Connolly, but Connolly did score their first point from a free in the tenth minute.
That reduced the arrears to just a goal however Nemo wouldn’t score again until the 21st minute. In the meantime Corofin took control and their supremacy was emphatically highlighted by Michael Farragher’s wonderful goal.
Jason Leonard, Dylan Wall, Martin Farragher, Micheal Lundy and Sice all added to Corofin’s tally before a brilliantly worked move ended in Daithi Burke’s hand pass to a wide open Farragher, and he finished to the Nemo net again.
At that stage Corofin held a big 2-06 to 0-01 lead and points from Paddy Gumley and Connolly were badly needed. But Martin Farragher, Sice and Daithi Burke cancelled them out as Corofin were 2-09 to 0-05 clear at half-time.
Nemo Rangers were desperate to start well in the second-half but it was disaster once again, as Martin Farragher kicked two points in the first eight minutes.
One minute later Kerry All-Ireland winner Tomás Ó Sé departed the scene for Nemo Rangers as their hopes of an unlikely comeback faded rapidly.
And Daithi Burke, who won an All-Ireland at Croke Park in September with the Galway hurlers, tapped over two points as Corofin pulled further clear in the closing stages.
Corofin: Bernard Power; Cathal Silke, Liam Silke, Kieran Fitzgerald; Ciarán McGrath, Dylan Wall (0-02), Kieran Molloy; Daithí Burke (0-02), Ronan Steede; Micheál Lundy (0-01), Gary Sice (1-04, 0-02f), Jason Leonard (0-01); Michael Farragher (1-01), Martin Farragher (0-06), Ian Burke (0-02).
Subs used: Conor Cunningham for Molloy (46 mins), Colin Brady for Lundy (49), Barry O’Donovan for Leonard (56), Dylan McHugh for C Silke (56), Ciarán Brady for Burke (59), Dylan Canney for Martin Farragher (62).
Nemo Rangers: Micheál Aodh Martin; Alan Cronin, Aidan O’Reilly, Keith O’Donovan; Tomás Ó Sé, Stephen Cronin, Kevin Fulignati; Alan O’Donovan, Jack Horgan; Barry O’Driscoll, Paul Kerrigan (0-01), Colin O’Brien; Paddy Gumley (0-01), Luke Connolly (0-06, 0-04f), Ciarán Dalton.
Subs used: Conor Hogan for Ó Sé (38 mins), Jack O’Donovan (0-01)] for J Horgan (38), Michael Dorgan for Gumley (38), Colm Kiely for Dalton (48), Ciarán O’Shea (0-01) for Fulignati (53)
Referee: David Gough (Meath).