AIB Connacht Club SFC Semi-Final: Corofin (Galway) v St. Brigid’s on Sunday in Tuam Stadium at 2 pm
St. Brigid’s face an uphill task when they face Connacht champions Corofin for the second year in a row in this year’s Connacht semi-final in Tuam on Sunday. Brigid’s will want to forget the 2016 meeting as the Galway men romped to a 2-13 to 0-5 win in the final, which was played in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Brigid’s will take solace from the fact that they are playing much better football this year and they have improved with every game they played in this year’s championship. However let’s be under no illusions, they face a top class side in this match.
Corofin have just completed a five in a row of titles in Galway, which is a considerable achievement. They defeated Mountbellew by ten points (2-14 to 0-10) in the final and that was despite having Cathal Silke sent off at the end of the first half. They are a formidable outfit who will not only be eyeing up a Connacht title but an All-Ireland title too.
They have many familiar names who have been on the scene for many years and they have bags of big match experience. Bernard Power is their goalkeeper who has played many times for Galway in recent seasons. Full-back is the evergreen Kieran Fitzgerald, an All-Ireland senior winner with Galway in 2001 and still an outstanding defender at this level.
Kieran Molloy and Liam Silke will be in the half-back line while Michael Farragher and Ronan Steede are a very formidable midfield duo. Up front, Gary Sice, Jason Leonard, Ian Burke and Michael Lundy are all top class attackers and not alone are they talented, they can mix it physically too.
Brigid’s will be hoping that they can improve again on Sunday even from their county final display. Shane Mannion will be between the posts. Niall McInerney, the revitalised Peter Domican and Darragh Sheehy are a solid full-back line but they will have their hands full on Sunday.
Ronan Stack, Ian Kilbride and Johnny Murray look the most likely half-back line. Garvan Dolan and Eddie Nolan will have a huge task at midfield as possession in that sector will be vital as usual.
But it is up front that Brigid’s will have to shine and they certainly have some great performers there. Senan Kilbride, Brian Stack, Padraig Kelly, Cathal McHugh, Darren Dolan and Eoin Sheehy will know that they will have to be on top of their game on Sunday.
I am expecting a far better show from St. Brigid’s this time around but it would be unrealistic to ignore the claims of what is a really strong Corofin team who will be hard to beat in Tuam. Anything is possible in the club championship but it would be a big surprise if Brigid’s were to prevail.