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Dramatic draw in the Tuam

COROFIN 0-15 TUAM STARS 2-9

By Cian O'Connell at Tuam Stadium

For the second Galway SFC Final on the spin Corofin registered a last gasp levelling score to force a replay.

Tuam Stars were on the verge of securing a first county title since 1994, but Corofin stayed the distance with Gary Sice supplying the critical scores in the dying embers of a gripping game.

The Stars had frustrated Corofin, who weren’t their usual fluent selves in attack which was perfectly illustrated by their conversion rate of 0-15 from 34.

Still Corofin found a way to avoid defeat and a gritty Tuam Stars outfit were left reflecting on what might have been as 6,400 spectators witnessed a compelling encounter.

Underdogs Tuam Stars snapped into the contest against Corofin with Tommy Carton’s charges departing at the interval armed with a 1-5 to 0-7 interval advantage.

That was chiefly due to Paul Collins’ 26th minute goal following a sharp exchange with Gary O’Donnell as the Stars edged 1-5 to 0-4 ahead.

Still in the remaining minutes of the first half Jason Leonard, Liam Silke, and Michael Farragher nailed points ensuring only the minimum divided the teams at the turnaround.

Eager to press Corofin high up the field there was plenty to admire about Tuam’s approach with two thoughtful Jamie Murphy pass enabling Brian Mannion score two splendid points.

Delicately poised when the action recommenced Kieran Molloy restored parity before Mannion returned to centre stage with another brace of points.

Suddenly the challengers were 1-7 to 0-8 in front, but unsurprisingly Corofin came thundering back again once more.

A foul on Jason Leonard resulted in a penalty for Corofin, but Liam Silke’s effort struck the woodwork as Tuam survived a scare.

Corofin, though, remained cool with Leonard clipping two points to level and then Gary Sice nudged the All Ireland champions 0-11 to 1-7 ahead in the 44th minute.

The drama continued to unfold as Tuam substitute Gavan Connell and Michael Farragher swapped points.

Then Tuam were awarded a penalty in the 53rd minute when Brian Mannion was fouled and Murphy’s finish was crisp making the Corofin net dance.

Requiring a response Gary Sice drilled a delightful point under duress to trim the deficit to one in the last minute.

Murphy rifled over a gorgeous effort for Tuam, but Sice stayed ice cool converting two injury time frees to deny Tuam a famous win.

Scorers for Corofin: Jason Leonard (2fs) and Gary Sice (3fs) 0-4 each, Michael Farragher, Liam Silke, and Kieran Molloy 0-2 each, Martin Farragher 0-1.

Scorers for Tuam Stars: Brian Mannion 0-5 (2fs), Jamie Murphy 1-1 (1-0 pen), Paul Collins 1-0, Noel Henry, Ben O’Connell, and Gavan Connell 0-1 each.

COROFIN: Bernard Power; Conor Cunningham, Cathal Silke, Ciaran McGrath; Ross Mahon, Liam Silke, Dylan McHugh; Kieran Molloy, Ronan Steede; Gary Sice, Dylan Wall, Jason Leonard; Martin Farragher, Michael Farragher, Ian Burke.

Subs: Micheal Lundy for Mahon (HT), Daithi Burke for Cunningham (53), Gavin Burke for Wall (59).

TUAM STARS: Johnny Trayers; Rory O’Connor, Aonghus Tierney, Brian O’Donnell; Gary O’Donnell, Daragh O’Rourke, Brendan Mashengele; Conor Rhatigan, Paul Collins; Noel Henry, Jamie Murphy, Seamus Kelly; Brian Mannion, Mikey Mannion, Ben O’Connell.

Subs: Gavan Connell for Henry (48), Cormac McWalter for Kelly (56).

REFEREE: Gearoid O’Conamha.

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