Reigning champions Corofin followed up their demolition of Oughterard in the opening round with another resounding victory over an under-strength Monivea-Abbey at the weekend.
In one of two fixtures in the Galway Senior Football Championship last weekend,Monivea-Abbey headed into this group 4A game as massive underdogs in their attempt to overcome the Corofin juggernaut, and were not helped by missing two key players, Cillian McDaid (hamstring ) and Patrick Mullins (soccer commitments ).
The game was played in glorious conditions, but the sweltering heat was a struggle for both sets of players. Corofin made a number of changes to the starting line-up, which scarily for every other team in Galway, did not appear to weaken them whatsoever.
Tom Healy, Ciarán McGrath, Matthew Cooley and Ian Burke replaced Bernard Power, Kieran Molloy, Colin Brady and Gary Sice respectively. The final scoreline of 4-18 to 0-07 could have been a lot worse given Corofin missed a handful of goal chances in the first half. However, Dylan McHugh and Michael Farragher were on target in the opening half, while substitute Colin Kelly grabbed a brace in the second.
One of the greatest difficulties for teams facing Corofin is the strength of their bench which ensures they are at full tilt until the final whistle as each player aims to stake a claim for a place in Kevin O’Brien’s starting line-up. And Corofin’s management team is sure to have more selection headaches after the side’s latest performance.
Sunday’s result means that Corofin top the group and now Monivea-Abbey and Oughterard will battle it out for second place next Sunday. A win for either side will see them advance to the preliminary quarter-final in three weeks, while a draw means Tomás Costello’s Monivea-Abbey will progress given their superior scoring difference.
An Cheathrú Rua bounced back from their painful last-minute defeat to Milltown in the opening round to overcome a disappointing St James’ by 0-15 to 1-10.
Paudi MacCormac was the scorer in chief for the Connemara side as he kicked 0-10 all from placed balls which was crucial in edging his side over the line against the Jimmies.
This win leaves group 4B finely poised as St James’ face Milltown in the final game of the group. A Milltown win will see them progress as group winners, while a St James’ win will leave it down for head to head and scoring difference to decide who will advance as all sides would then be on two points.
There is another round of fixtures for the upcoming weekend in all of the groups.
In group 1 the pick of the games is Barna vs Salthill-Knocknacarra, who both had wins in their first fixture. It will be interesting to see if Barna can pull off a shock against the Seasiders under the guidance of former Galway selector Seán Conlon.
In group 2, Annaghdown will need a win over an impressive Moycullen side if they are to stand any chance of progressing to the quarter-final. Damien Comer and co will need to be in top form if they are to emerge victorious.
Group 3 sees a vital round of fixtures being played. Last year’s finalists Tuam Stars face Killanin in what is also a must win for them following their shock defeat to Caherlistrane. Larry Bane’s Caherlistrane will of course be hoping to build on their victory with another performance against Claregalway who suffered a defeat by the minimum at the hands of Killanin.
Group 1: Barna v Salthill-Knocknacarra (Fri 7pm Pearse Stadium ); St Michael’s v An Spidéal (Sat 3.30pm Pearse Stadium )
Group 2: Annaghdown v Moycullen (Sat 6.30pm Pearse Stadium ); Mícheál Breathnach vs Mountbellew-Moylough (Sun 5.30pm Pearse Stadium )
Group 3: Caherlistrane v Claregalway (Sun 5pm Tuam Stadium ); Killanin vs Tuam Stars (Sun 6pm Kenny Park )
Group 4a: Oughterard v Monivea Abbey (Sun 2.30pm Pearse Stadium )
Group 4b: Milltown v St James’ (Sun 1pm Tuam Stadium )