Monivea Abbey face the daunting task of tackling the All-Ireland champions Corofin in their opening game of the 2020 season at Tuam Stadium on Saturday (2pm ).
The champions were in flying form for their first game where they hammered Oughterard, clocking up a massive 7-17 with 7-16 of this total coming from open play.
It was a mesmerising attacking performance from Kevin O’Brien’s outfit who displayed immense ruthlessness, and Oughterard had no answer for Corofin’s incredible movement, pace, accurate passing and killer instinct in front of goal.
In the first half Oughterard had two goal chances which they did not take and were duly punished. As has been the case through the years, if teams fail to take chances against Corofin, they will be punished.
There is no lack of hunger within the Corofin ranks as the pressure for a place in the starting line-up cranks up. With Ian Burke, Martin Farragher, Ronan Steede and Daithi Burke still to return to the fold, it has the looks of a formidable outfit once again for the seven-in-a-row conquering side.
With 21-year-old Darragh Silke pulling the strings from centre forward, while also contributing 1-7 from play, and 19-year-old Matthew Cooley marking his debut with a goal, Corofin’s conveyor belt of talent just keeps rolling on seamlessly.
While many of the team who started on Sunday have been involved with this Corofin panel for a number of years, the average age is just over 25.
Cillian McDaid is a major doubt for Monivea-Abbey as he is recovering from a hamstring injury. This injury, coupled with the loss of Craig Kennedy to emigration, does not make their challenge any easier.
It is hard to look past Corofin for this clash, but Monivea-Abbey most certainly will not go down without a fight.
St James v An Cheathru Rua
St James will begin their championship campaign on Sunday against An Cheathrú Rua in Spiddal (2pm ).
An Cheathrú Rua face the difficulty of a seven day turnaround following their devastating last-minute defeat at the hands of Milltown last Saturday evening. Now only a win will do for the Connemara men if they want to salvage their season and avoid a relegation battle like the previous championship.
It will be interesting to see if having a game under their belts brings An Cheathrú Rua up to the speed of the match this weekend quicker than the Jimmies, or whether it will leave them fatigued.
St James will be relying on the usual suspects to get them over the line in the form of Paul Conroy, Johnny Duane and Eoin Concannon.
Whatever the outcome it is sure to be a tense, closely-fought encounter.
Round 1 results: Group 1, An Spidéal 0-10 Barna 2-07; Salthill Knocknacarra 3-13 St Michael’s 0-10; Group 2, Moycullen 3-12 Míchaél Breathnach 1-06; Mountbellew-Moylough 1-07 Annaghdown 0-08; Group 3, Killanin 0-11 Claregalway 0-10; Caherlistrane 1-09 Tuam Stars 1-07; Group 4a: Corofin 7-17 Oughterard 0-11; Group 4b, Milltown 0-10 An Cheathrú Rua 1-06.