Smooth-moving Mountbellew/Moylough look strong

The first semi-final at Tuam Stadium was a one-sided affair which Michael Donnellan's Mountbellew/Moylough won easily by 17 points on a scoreline of 3-15 to 1-04 against Monivea/Abbey.

Donnellan, who won seven senior county medals from 1991 to 2002 with Corofin, has his squad moving well, and he is ably assisted with a backroom team of selectors Micheal O'Reilly and Noel Simmons, and trainer Kieran Murphy.

From Brian Donnellan in goal to a lively full-forward line of Colm Mannion, Barry McHugh and Ger Donaghue, all the black and amber men look in good shape and in the right place to have a cut off Corofin in three weeks' time.

Based on their victories over St James and Monivea-Abbey, they are currently playing the best football in the county.

The extra few weeks before the final should be a help too, as it will give more time to the talented Eoin Finnerty and Matthew Barrett to get back to full match fitness.

Both men lined out in the 2015 county final between the same sides with Finnerty at full-forward and Barrett at midfield, but even if they were not to start on October 15, they are serious options to have off the bench.

The spine of the Mountbellew team is exciting. Shane Moran and John Daly are mobile and talented defenders at number three and six, while at midfield the hugely experienced Joe Bergin is moving well, and Cathal Kenny is a top club player.

Barry McHugh - the best free taker

Up front, Michael Daly is a quality centre-forward and Barry McHugh is the best free taker in the county.

Wing-forwards Stephen Boyle and Paul Donnellan are also fine players, and both possess good engines and have massive work-rates. Their selfless graft is needed on any team that has aspirations of winning silverware.

They are an ambitious and hungry outfit, well coached and organised, and based on what we saw last weekend from both winners, they are a team well capable of knocking Corofin off their perch.

Monivea/Abbey will be disappointed how their season ended. They were competitive until they conceded the penalty before half-time. The probable long-term loss of the hugely talented Cillian McDaid to AFL is a huge blow to the club. And he will be a loss to Galway too.

Trying to compete at the top level in both codes is hugely difficult for any club now, and the historic achievements in 1988 and 1992 when Abbeyknockmoy and Monivea-Abbey won hurling and football senior county titles is unlikely to be repeated.


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