Corofin 2-10 Ballintubber 1-9
A stunning second-half display from Corofin earned the reigning All-Ireland club champions a third provincial championship title in a row this afternoon.
The Galway side overturned a half-time deficit of three points to blitz Ballintubber after the restart and run out comprehensive winners of their ninth Connacht club crown.
The Mayo champions had deservedly led at the break by 1-5 to 1-2 but they lost their way in the second period and only managed to add a further four points to their tally.
However, Corofin were transformed after the interval and the introduction of All Star forward Ian Burke proved to the catalyst for their comeback.
The fleet-footed attacker, who had been unable to start the game due to a slight rib injury and a bout of flu, goaled with his first touch and also tagged on a crucial point.
His 39th minute goal catapulted Corofin into a three points lead and while Ballintubber hit back with a couple of Cillian O’Connor frees, the tide had started to turn.
Corofin had got on top all over the field and a string of points from Ian Burke, Gary Sice (two frees), Kieran Molloy and Liam Silke broke Ballintubber’s resistance.
All the West Mayo men could manage in response were late scores from Alan Dillon and Michael Plunkett as Corofin powered their way to a fourth title in five seasons.
Things had looked very different at half-time as Ballintubber enjoyed a 1-5 to 1-2 advantage thanks to a 28th minute goal from Jamesie Finnerty.
Kevin Johnson had set his team up extremely well and they came flying out of the blocks to lead by 0-4 to 0-1 after only ten minutes.
Corofin found it hard to make inroads up at the other end, but their captain Micheál Lundy grabbed a crucial goal in the 25th minute when he managed to beat Brendan Walsh from close-range.
That score pushed Corofin ahead for the first time, but Ballintubber levelled through Alan Plunkett before Finnerty’s goal blew the game wide open.
But all changed in the second half as Corofin resumed normal service and played some scintillating football.
The North Galway side will take on the winners of next Sunday’s Ulster club final in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Corofin: B Power; C Silke, K Fitzgerald, L Silke (0-1); K Molloy (0-1), D Burke, D Wall; Ciaran Brady, R Steede; G Sice (0-3, 3fs), Mike Farragher (0-1), J Leonard (0-1); Martin Farragher (0-1), Colin Brady (0-1), M Lundy (1-0).
Subs used: D Silke for Ciaran Brady (inj, 28); I Burke (1-1) for D Silke (37); D McHugh for C Silke (50); C Cunningham for Wall (56); D Canney for Colin Brady (58).
Ballintubber: B Walsh; G Loftus, C Hallinan, B Murphy; D Coleman, M Plunkett (0-1), M Kelly; J Gibbons (0-1), D O’Connor; C Gavin, A Dillon (0-2), A Plunkett (0-1); B Walsh, C O’Connor (0-4, 2fs), J Finnerty (1-0).
Subs used: M Kelly for R O’Connor (47); P O’Connor for Gavin (53); J Geraghty for A Plunkett (57).
Referee: P Neilan (Roscommon)