Caherlistrane v Corofin

Sunday in Tuam Stadium at 5pm

Caherlistrane's Cormac Bane takes a heavy challenge from Ciarán DePaor of An Cheathru Rua  in action from the Claregalway Hotel Senior Football Championship quarter-finals at Pearse Stadium on Saturday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Caherlistrane's Cormac Bane takes a heavy challenge from Ciarán DePaor of An Cheathru Rua in action from the Claregalway Hotel Senior Football Championship quarter-finals at Pearse Stadium on Saturday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

The clash of these two neighbouring clubs should provide for plenty of tough, hard, and exciting football action on Sunday evening.

Corofin will start as they usually do - hot favourites. They have been backed by many from a long way out as potential county championship winners and now that they are in the last four the view is that they are the team to beat.

Over the past few seasons Corofin have not conceded that many big scorelines, and when you have five defenders from a club team on the county panel, a team manager does not expect to leak too badly at the back.

That was the story again last weekend when Jimmy Sice’s men held Maigh Cuillinn to just six points and Caherlistrane will find their defence hard to break down.

However it is up front that Corofin have found if difficult to break through massed defences, and their over-reliance on Alan O’Donovan for scores from frees is something that they need to work on.

County wing-back Gary Sice was pushed up front last weekend and he had a profitable second half from wing-forward. Sice has improved enormously in the past two seasons and he scored three terrific points at crucial stages last weekend to put a bit of daylight between the sides. The lively Joe Canney also caught the eye and his 1-02 from play were all well taken.

On the negative side Kieran Comer, who won an All-Ireland medal with Galway in 2001, is still battling to recover from a niggling quad injury that kept him out of the quarter final win over Moycullen, and if he was unavailable on Sunday, he would be a big loss. He is a big strong man and has been working well as a target man at the edge of the square.

Former All Star Kieran Fitzgerald lined out at midfield alongside Greg Higgins last Saturday, and that combination will probably start out there again for the semi-final. Their battle with the highly mobile Clive Monaghan and Caherlistrane team captain Brendan Murphy should be one of the highlights of the game.

Peter Warren will know his team needs to improve on the performance they produced against Carraroe if they are to advance to the final. That game ended 2-06 to 0-8, but the standard of play on offer by both sides was poor.

It is likely Caherlistrane will get a lot of bodies behind the ball and try to hit Corofin on the break with the likes of Cormac Bane, Eric Monaghan, Rory Glynn, Barry McCabe, and Cathal Kyne.

Ray Silke’s verdict: Caherlistrane have beaten some good sides to get to this stage, but it is questionable if they have the overall strength to stop Corofin. Both sides produced patchy displays last Saturday evening in Pearse Stadium, and it was difficult to see Liam Sammon going home with too many new names in his little black book. However, when Corofin lifted the pace of their game in the second half and got some powerful running through the middle from the likes of Greg Higgins, Kieran Fitzgerald, Aiden Donnellan, Alan Burke, and Gary Sice, they looked the best outfit on show. If they can replicate that 20 minutes of football for the guts of an hour next Sunday, they will be back in another county final.

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