Corofin expecting a massive battle with Moorefield

The current Corofin football squad is an incredibly experienced bunch of players with the majority of the starting 15 having both won and lost games at this stage of the competition.

They will hope those big match experiences will be an advantage on Saturday in O'Connor Park at 2pm when they face new Leinster champions Moorefield (Kildare ) in the All-Ireland senior semi-final.

This time last year they came up short and were found wanting against eventual winners Killarney Crokes in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. The harsh lesson in that big defeat should stop any possibility of overconfidence or thinking about a possible final.

Moorefield heroic

Moorefield produced a truly heroic last six minutes in their provincial success over St Lomas (Westmeath ) when they came from six points down to win by 1-14 to 2-10.

The Kildare men hit 1-04 without reply in the final few minutes, their goal coming from veteran full-forward Ronan Sweeney, a former Kildare star.

Former Kerry manager Jack O'Connor's son, Éanna O'Connor, also put in a big shift, notching 0-8 (5fs ) over the hour. The former All-Ireland winning manager is now part of the Moorefield back-room team.

The Corofin management team, which includes selectors Terry Payne, Ger Keane, David Morris and David Comer, and is led by team manager Kevin O'Brien, will have their home work well done as usual and they will be well aware of the threat Moorefield pose.

As well as Sweeney and O'Connor, they have some impressive players in imposing centre back James Murray, who sallied forward for two good points the last day out, team captain Dayrl Flynn at midfield, huge man Aaron Masterson, and corner forward Niall Hurley-Lynch. Wing back Kevin Murnaghan is also a real live wire and he hit the winning point in the Leinster final.

Daithí Burke available

Corofin are delighted to have three-times All-Star hurler Daithí Burke back training with them over the past few weeks, and the dual star provides options around the middle of the field as either a starting player or as a serious impact substitute.

Kevin O'Brien, who was a selector when Corofin last won the All-Ireland in March 2015, beating Slaughneil by 1-14 to 0-7, expects a huge battle this Saturday.

"We are hoping the game in London will have brought us on a bit. We are missing our captain Ciaran McGrath (knee ) and Kevin Murphy, who pulled a quad muscle in the game in London, but when anyone is missing, it gives opportunities for other players to come in and shine.

"The key thing on Saturday is that we put in a big performance. If we do that, we give ourselves a genuine chance of winning. Moorefield have shown a real never-say-die attitude in their past few games, and we need to be aware they will see this game as a golden opportunity for them to get to Croke Park.

"We will need leaders in every line of the team, and the lads coming off the bench to make a real impact to win this game. We expect a really tough battle and we will have to be at our best to advance," O'Brien says.

"Our supporters have been terrific all year, as they are every year, and hopefully we will have big support on Saturday too. A big cheer from them can really lift the lads and help to drive them on in a tight game. It has the makings of a great game and we are really looking forward to it."

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