St Brigid’s stroll to fourth Connacht final in a row

St Mary’s 1-05

St Brigid’s 5-15

Reigning champions St Brigid’s progressed to their fourth consecutive Connacht final thanks to a facile 22-point win over an inept St Mary’s, Carrick-on-Shannon last Sunday. The home side won their county title in September and it looks as if they were happy to settle with that as they offered little or no resistance to the Roscommon champions.

Nothing however can ever be taken for granted when travelling to Pairc Sean and Benny O’Brien will be happy with the professional manner his side went about their business while at the same time acknowledging a stiffer test might have been more beneficial ahead of their Connacht final showdown with Castlebar.

St Mary’s opened the scoring with a pointed free but Brigid’s replied with three points of their own before young Frankie Dolan did what he does best and finished to the net. It was one-way traffic for the remainder of the half with the visitors holding a commanding 1-11 to 0-1 half-time lead.

The second half saw no real change in proceedings as the Kiltoom men continued to dominate with further goals from the impressive Padraig Kelly, Karol Mannion, and subs Richie Blaine and David O’Connor.

The match offered valuable game time to recently returned Richie Blaine and also marked the return to action of Ian Kilbride. Darren Dolan was replaced by brother Garvan early on and Brigid’s supporters will be hoping that he and Cathal McHugh (hamstring ) are fit and well for the November 24 showdown with Castlebar in The Hyde.

Corofin were being talked up as the main threat to St Brigid’s crown but the loss of Kieran Fitzgerald and their inability to turn possession into scores cost them dearly as Castlebar held out for a one-point win.

St Brigid’s will be happier to be meeting the Mayo champions though they will certainly not be counting any chickens. Mayo sides in general hold no fear of Roscommon champions. While St Brigid’s came out on top when the sides met a number of weeks ago in a challenge game, Castlebar were without their county boys and as they showed last Sunday that could make a big difference. It promises to be a classic showdown in The Hyde on Sunday week.

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