Eight became four in the Claregalway Hotel Galway Senior Football Championship last weekend as Tuam Stars, Moycullen, Salthill/Knocknacarra and Corofin advanced from their quarter-final clashes.
The semi-final draw now sees Corofin face Salthill, and Tuam play Moycullen, to be played on the weekend of October 5/6.
Corofin and Mountbellew/Moylough played the final game of the weekend with the reigning champions coming out on top of this rivalry yet again by 1-16 to 1-10.
Corofin pressed hard on the opposition restarts and smothered Mountbellew inside their ‘45, while at the other end keeper Bernard Power made two fine reaction saves in the first half and Michael Daly put another effort just wide of the post.
Ian Burke broke through the defensive set up to smash home a 19th-minute goal which led to his side dominating the final 10 minutes of the first half and first 10 of the second, effectively killing off the game as a contest as they led 1-9 to 0-3 on 40 minutes.
The introduction of Joe Bergin led to a period of dominance for Michael Donnellan’s side as Corofin began to ease off. A 46th -minute goal for Mountbellew followed by four unanswered points with five minutes to go excited the crowd, but two injury-time points for Corofin, after another spectacular save from Power - this time after a Barry McHugh effort - dampened any hopes of a their late come back. The current All-Ireland champions will now continue their drive for a seventh title in a row against Salthill in two weeks' time.
In Saturday’s two matches, Tuam defeated An Spideal 0-11 to 0-8, while Moycullen prevailed over St Michael's 1-13 to 0-11 in a dogged affair.
Tuam's Jamie Murphy once again pulled his side through with missed chances costing Spiddal dearly. A number of shots dropping short and missed frees ended their foray back in senior football. The Stars, however, were full value for their win as they took their chances and had that extra bit of cuteness in defence.
Tuam Stars scorers: Gary O’Donnell 0-3, Mikey Mannion 0-2, Noel Henry 0-2, Jamie Murphy 0-2 frees, Brian Mannion 0-1, Gavin O’Connell 0-1. An Spideal scorers: Sean O’Curraoin 0-2, Padraig Eoin O’Curraoin 0-2, Finian O’Laoi 0-2 frees, Dara Mac an Rí 0-1, Cormac O’Laoi 0-1
Moycullen v St Michael's proved more exciting with the winners finishing with 12 players and Michael's with 13. With a 0-10 to 0-7 lead early in the second half Michael's sat back and invited the pressure. As a result St Michael's failed to score from the 35th minute until deep into injury time while Moycullen grabbed the initiative and scored 1-6, with a fine goal from Conor Bohan. Both teams lost their discipline in injury time, amd with four red cards plus black cards issued, both teams were depleted at the final whistle.
Moycullen scorers: Dessie Conneely 0-5 (0-3 frees ), David Wynne 0-3 (0-2 frees ), Conor Bohan 1-0, Mark Lydon 0-2, Niall Walsh 0-1, Paul Kelly 0-1, Patrick Lydon 0-1. St Michael's scorers: Eddie Hoare 0-4 (0-2 frees ), Greg Rogan 0-2 frees, Frank Daly 0-2, Brian Harlowe 0-1, Eamon Brannigan 0-1, Conor Hoctor 0-1
In group one Salthill/Knocknacarra pulled a result out of the bag thanks to an injury-time point from Gearoid Armstrong, winning 2-14 to Milltown's 3-9.
With the sides level at half-time, courtesy of a Claregalway goal from Danny Cummins, the Balchies started the second half impressively with early scores from Moran, Campbell and Rohan. When the inevitable pressure came on, Claregalway continued to kick long with every kick out, but Salthill started to get on top at midfield,
The impressive Rob Finnerty brought his side right back into this game before Armstrong kicked the late winner. Finnerty brought an extra bit of finesse to this young, but well-drilled Salthill team, and his six points proved invaluable on the day.
Oughterard and Micheal Breathnachs promoted
With this year's new format both Micheal Breathnachs and Oughterard will make a return to senior football for 2020 after wins on Sunday.
Breathnachs defeated Cortoon Shamrocks with an impressively ground out win - Liam Macdonnacha’s goal the difference between the sides after Cortoon lost their entire full forward line to injury.
Ronan and Liam Macdonnacha, along with Sean Denvir, impressed for their side once again, combining to score 1-8 of their side's 1-13.
Oughterard will join them in senior football after a demolition of Dunmore in the second semi-final, winning 3-18 to 0-6 with the Tierney brothers, Matthew and Enda, combining to score 2-8.
Leading 1-12 to 0-3 at half-time, Tommy Finnerty’s side was never going to be caught before running out as impressive winners.
Niall Lee ensured Oughterard made a great start with two early points before his side out-scored the North Board team by 1-10 to 0-2 in the final 20 minutes of the half.
Just a week after losing to Dublin, action in Galway switched to the ladies' county semi-finals with a number of players on each of the four teams happy to return to the local football fields again.
And after the weekend's action, there will be a repeat of the 2016 county final with Killererin/Clonberne facing Claregalway,
Clonberne, going for seven-in-a-row, impressively dispatched Aine McDonagh's Moycullen by 4-22 to 3-11 after Claregalway had ended Corofin’s run when winning 5-13 to 1-8.
The county final will be played in Milltown at 3pm on Sunday September 29. with Dunmore McHales playing Caltra Cuans in the senior B final at 1pm.
The junior and intermediate finals were played in Annaghdown on Saturday afternoon. In the junior final Claregalway defeated Grainne Mhaols 6-12 to 2-7, while in the intermediate decider Glennamaddy/Williamstown defeated Tuam/Cortoon by 3-14 to 2-11.