Corofin favoured to stop Salthill collecting back-to-back titles
Salthill-Knocknacarra and Corofin meet on Sunday in the highly-anticipated county senior football final at Tuam Stadium at 4pm. The clash of the best two teams in the county has the potential to be a humdinger if both teams play to the best of their abilities.
Corofin are hotly fancied by the bookies to win their first title since 2011, and are 2/5 to collect the Frank Fox Cup. The current county champions, Salthill, under the guidance of Cathal McGinley, are available at 5/2 with Mulhollands.
Corofin have swept all before them with ease this year. Only Milltown provided genuine resistance in the semi-final, and although a man down for much of that game, Corofin still had the experience to pull out a victory, with a Gary Sice goal the key score.
The North Board men are managed this season by former All-Ireland club winner with Crossmolina in 2001, Stephen Rochford, and Corofin's David Morris.
Rochford, who was also involved in a coaching capacity in the past with the Mayo minors, does not agree that the title is Corofin's to lose.
"Salthill are a very experienced side and they have talented players all over the field. The back bone of the side won an All-Ireland club title a few years ago and their management team is also made up of former players from that team, so we know they will be very organised and very difficult to beat.
" They are the reigning county champions and they will want to put two titles back-to-back. In forwards such as Seán Armstrong, Seamie Crowe, Gary Cox, Brian Conlon and Alan Kerins, they have a lot of scoring power up-front.
"That said, we believe we have a really good panel of players and we believe there is a really big performance in them. There is a lot of potential in our squad and they are a tremendously committed bunch of lads. Our entire panel has worked really hard over the past eight or nine months and we want them to go out and play to their best on Sunday. We can't ask for any more than that."
Another Mayo native, Gordon Morley, who was centre back when Salthill won their All-Ireland club title back in 2006, is a selector with Salthill.
"We have been improving incrementally in the championship, but we will need to improve a fair few notches if we are going to beat Corofin. They have been very impressive and fully justify their favourite’s tag based on their performances - not only in the championship, but in the league and the All-Ireland sevens. They were earmarked at the start of the year as a really serious team, and that has not changed."
Despite Corofin's impressive form, Salthill have advanced to the final on merit.
"All the lads have put their shoulder to the wheel over the past few months and we have also been able to bring in a few new younger lads during the year such as Evan Wynne, Robert Butler, Sean Hughes and Jack Killeen which is a positive. We know we will have to play better than we have all season, but that is a challenge we are looking forward to.
"We don't believe we have played to our potential in any championship game so far and, if we were to do so this Sunday, who knows how the game would go? The club has never put two titles back to back, and if that was to happen, it would be a massive achievement for the club and this group of players.”
• Moycullen and Claregalway will contest the county minor A minor football final in a curtainraiser for the senior final between Corofin and Salthill/Knocknacarra at 4pm.