All-Ireland club SFC quarter-final: Sice leads Corofin to Ruislip win

December 14, 2014

Tir Chonaill Gaels' Gary McGee gets away from Ronan Steede of Corofin in the All-Ireland club SFC quarter-final at Ruislip.
©INPHO/Gerry McManus.

Corofin (Galway) 0-9

Tir Chonaill Gaels (London) 0-2

Corofin needed a second half tour de force from Gary Sice to break Tir Chonaill Gaels' resistance in a low-scoring All-Ireland club SFC quarter-final at Ruislip.

A massive upset seemed possible at half-time when the Galway and Connacht champions only led by a point, 0-2 to 0-1, after playing with the aid of the strong breeze. But former county star Sice got them out of trouble by scoring 0-5 (0-4 from frees) in the second period to set up a semi-final date with reigning All-Ireland champions St. Vincent's next February.

Stephen Rochford's side, who had won their last three games by double-score margins, opened the scoring through Michael Farragher in the second minute, but failed to score again until the last minute of the half owing to poor finishing and some excellent defending by their Greenford-based opponents. Farragher missed a glorious goal-scoring opportunity in the 13th minute when he blazed wide, while Sice was also denied by a last-gasp block.

The Exiles actually finished the first half the stronger, with their opening score from Cathal O'Neill in the 24th minute bringing them level. However, a Martin Farragher point gave the unbackable favourites a slender lead at the break.

Sice got Corofin motoring with a brilliant score early in the second half and he quickly added two more points from frees to finally give the visitors some breathing space.

After the Gaels' Cathal Magee failed to capitalise on a poor kickout by Thomas Healy, Sice tagged on another couple of frees before substitute Eoin O'Neill managed a late consolation score for the London champions.

Corofin - T Healy; C McGrath, K Fitzgerald, C Cunningham; G Higgins, A Burke, L Silke; D Burke (0-1), R Steede; G Sice (0-6, 4f), M Lundy, Michael Farragher (0-1); Martin Farragher (0-1), G Delaney, I Burke. Subs: P Kelly for K Fitzgerald, D Wall for Michael Farragher, J Canney for Martin Farragher, A O'Donovan for I Burke, B O'Donovan for L Silke.

Tir Chonaill Gaels - D Traynor; B Ross, P Butler, A Downes; N Boyle, E McConville, G McGee; M Gottsche, A Bradley; C O'Neill (0-1), D Gilsenan, J McNicholas; L Kavanagh, J Feeney, C Magee. Subs: B Collins for B Ross, L Gavaghan for L Kavanagh, E O'Neill (0-1f) for C O'Neill, M McCoy for A Downes, B Duddy for C Magee, B O'Reilly for D Gilsenan.

Referee - F Kelly.

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