Killererin’s experience and guile difficult to beat

Mountbellew/Moylough v Killererin

Saturday, Tuam Stadium 5pm

Match Odds: Killerin 10/11, Draw 13/2, M/M Eves

Looking at the Killererin senior team sheet, it is easy to realise why, as a team, they don’t do “panic”.

They have serious experience and boast a few All-Ireland medal holders in their ranks.

They are a dogged bunch and, even when their backs are to the wall, they come out shooting.

They have a core of experienced and successful players that make them a tough assignment for any club in the county to defeat.

Moycullen had them on the rack a fair few times in the county quarter-final on both days, and Mountbellew looked a shoo-in to reach the 2010 final the last day out. Yet Killererin are still standing. And few would bet with any huge confidence that they will not be facing Corofin in three weeks either.

All-Ireland medal holders

Alan Keane was Galway’s goalkeeper in 2001 when the county won its ninth All-Ireland title.

Defenders Colin Forde and Tomás Fahy collected All-Ireland minor medals three years ago in 2007 under the management of Alan Mulholland.

Player manager Tommie Joyce and his brother Padraic collected Celtic Crosses in 1998 and 2001 (and also Hogan Cup medals in 1994 under Joe Long’s management at St Jarlath’s ), and veteran corner forward Tommie Wilson was an All-Ireland medallist in 1998 too.

Nicky Joyce won an All-Ireland u-21 medal in 2002 and a Sigerson medal from Sligo IT.

They rarely, if ever, go down without a fight and Saturday will not be any different.

Mountbellew looked the more likely team to win at half-time the last day out, and yet they ended up holding on for dear life as Killererin pinned them back in their own half in the last quarter.

With seven of Killererin’s starting team having played county football for Galway at a high level, and with medals to prove their worth, that should have come as no surprise.

They have no injury worries ahead of Saturday’s replay and, according to Tommie Joyce, they are in good shape and looking forward to the clash.

Mountbellew/Moylough will know they had a poor second half in the first semi-final which they will be keen to rectify.

Cyril Ryan and Martin Boyle will tell their players to keep doing what they did in the first quarter of the drawn game when they knocked in 1-02 in jig time.

Their full-forward line of Joe Meehan, Cathal Kenny and Seanie Sweeney were starved of ball for long periods in the second half and that cannot be allowed to happen this Saturday.

Mountbellew should pump in a few high balls and check out what the Killererin full-back line are like under aerial attack.

Joe Bergin and Colm Colleran will try to boss the midfield area for the black and amber boys, but with big Tom Hughes and hard-working half-forwards and half-backs, Killererin will be out to break ball and snatch up the breaks.

I had a slight fancy for Mountbellew the first day, but it is difficult to call this replay.

Killererin are so bloody minded and economical in front of goal and, with the “usual suspects” deadly when given any sniff of a chance, they are always capable of raising a green flag.

It should be tight and, like Carna-Caiseal and St James, another replay is not beyond the realms of possibility.

County Intermediate semi-final

Carna/Caiseal face St James in the county intermediate semi-final again in their second replay this Saturday at 3.30pm in Pearse Stadium. Despite playing for 140 minutes, there is still no separating the sides. Last Saturday’s game ended St James 2-8 and Carna/Caiseal 1-11 after extra time.

An Spidéal await the winners in the county final.

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