Corofin and Caherlistrane must dance again

Very few pundits – myself included - fancied Cortoon Shamrocks to see off NUIG last Sunday in Tuam Stadium. However fair play to them in reaching their first county final.

Corofin's Gary Sice and Trevor Burke close down Caherlistrane's Liam Dalton in action from the Claregalway Hotel Senior Football Championship semi-final at Tuam Stadium on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Corofin's Gary Sice and Trevor Burke close down Caherlistrane's Liam Dalton in action from the Claregalway Hotel Senior Football Championship semi-final at Tuam Stadium on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

It is a tremendous achievement and they will take a lot of beating in the final. With forwards like Derek Savage, David Warde, Michael Martin, and Mickey Costello, they have the potential to hurt most defences. Likewise guys like Brian Roache and Donal O’Neill - who are both top quality corner backs - and David Finnegan, John Martin, and Brion Gilmore are not easy to get by.

NUIG did not click as they would have hoped, and there has to be some genuine debate at the next convention as to whether the college should stay in the competition. They were very disappointed with their performance, and they also feel – not for the first time – that they find it extremely difficult to get fair play when they advance in the competition.

It is an open secret that the vast majority of clubs have a problem with them being in the championship and it is a fair question to ask whether those in some of the senior positions in the county board feel the same. If they are not going to get a reasonable hearing from the judge when they go to court, perhaps they are better off not entering the court room at all.

That is a debate for another day, and it is one I will come back to in the close season.

For now though, well done to Cortoon Shamrocks and they are in the happy position of just wandering down to Tuam Stadium on Saturday at 5pm to check out who will join them in the last waltz for the Frank Fox cup. Cortoon have added a lot of romance to this year’s campaign and they will feel that they are in with a great chance of going all the way at this stage.

Caherlistrane manager Peter Warren is hopeful his charges can go to the well once again this weekend. He took over as senior manager last Christmas and since then his side has only tasted defeat in one competitive game, against Killanin in the league.

“Things are going well and the lads have been putting in a massive effort. Our biggest problem for the replay is that Oisin O’Brien who did very well last Sunday is out with a twisted knee. But that provides an opportunity for someone else to come in and do the business.

“We will have it all to do against Corofin who are a fantastic team, but the club has not been in a county senior final since the 1890s and that is what we hope to achieve this weekend. We are pleased to be at this stage, but nobody wants to be beaten in a semi-final.”

His counterpart, Corofin manager Jimmy Sice, is also fearful of being without one of his top players and captain. Sice told the Galway Advertiser yesterday that Kieran Fitzgerald was “highly doubtful and is unlikely to feature”.

“We will have to start a lot better and not allow them get a five or six-point lead like they did the last day. We allowed them to establish a 1-04 to 0-1 lead, and if we do that the next day, we will be in trouble.

“We are happy enough that we improved in the second half, but unless we maintain that level of work-rate, we won’t be in the final.”

It was a cracker of a game last weekend, one that kept going right to the final whistle so make sure to try to get to Tuam this Saturday for the replay. Hopefully we will have more of the same.

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