St Michael’s reach first senior county final

St Michael's captain and star forward Eddie Hoare and Bearna's Domhnaill Ó Fheinne in action from the county senior football championship semi-final at Moycullen on Sunday. 
Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

St Michael's captain and star forward Eddie Hoare and Bearna's Domhnaill Ó Fheinne in action from the county senior football championship semi-final at Moycullen on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Sometimes in life you just have to enjoy the moment, and not think of what lies ahead. It is the right thing to do.

Sporting success is fleeting, hence, you have to appreciate and savour its sweetness for as long as you can when it crosses your path.

And that is what the St Michael's football panel, management team, and their loyal supporters rightly did last Sunday afternoon in Baile Dóite in Moycullen when their side saw off Barna by 0-9 to 0-7 to reach their first senior county final.

There were joyous scenes after the game as the city club relished its terrific achievement and started to look forward to the senior county next Sunday.

The game itself between Barna and Michael's last weekend was dour stuff.

It was 0-4 to 0-3 to St Michael's at half time, but there had only been one point kicked from play in that half - by Barna's Paddy Kennedy. It could could have been a goal, which gives an indication of the paucity of attacking open play by both sides.

Indeed Pat Fallon's men took far too long to get going and shot 14 heartbreaking wides during the contest that sealed their defeat.

St Michael's had a bit more cutting edge up front and that was the real difference between the sides.

Greg Rogan is a cerebral player and he linked a lot of play from centre-forward. Both wing-forwards Eamon O' Donnell, who kicked two good points, and the speedy Eamon Brannigan really caught the eye and did a lot of damage on the Barna rearguard.

They are lively forwards and will taking watching by the Corofin wing-backs.

Eddie Hoare was terrific

Team captain Eddie Hoare is a real inspirational figure at full-forward for John Kenny's team and he scored a few terrific points from both frees and play. It was his five points (0-4 fs ) that really drove the men in blue to victory.

Hoare has had a really good season both with St Michael's and Galway and it is fantastic to see the former St Mary's star having a really good run following a tough time a few years ago with serious back trouble.

Eddie is a real gentleman and nobody in Galway football - apart from Corofin supporters and players - would begrudge him the chance to hoist the Frank Fox Cup this Sunday.

Tommy Curran also did very well on his introduction and he shot one top-class point which will put pressure on the management team to give him a good bit more game time in three days’ time.

At the back, Michael's had some fine displays form the teak-tough Jamie Downes at centre-back, who stopped a lot of traffic and former county o-21 star David Cunnane, who is a huge man and a player who always looked composed. Indeed Cunnane's display, must have impressed watching county manager Kevin Walsh.

Peter Ruane also played his defensive role well and swept across the full-back line with aplomb.

Considering tthey were without regular full-back Alan Glynn and Eoghan Tummon, it was a solid defensive display.

However, it was a disappointing end to Barna’s season and they will feel they were capable of a much better performance.

They did hold Michael’s scoreless for the last quarter, and were plucky until the final whistle.

They might have stolen a late goal to win the tie, but they did not deserve to advance and they were bady lacking in finesse and flair up front.

Guys like Eoin McDonagh, Paddy Kennedy, Ray Conneely, James Kennedy, Jason Lyons and Kieran Hanley did try hard for the cause and no one could fault their spirit or workrate, but they lacked any real cutting edge up front and that cost them dearly, as evidenced by their paltry two points from play over the hour.

The better team won on the day and these St Michael's players have created history for their club which was founded in 1956 by reaching an historic first senior county final.

Over the last few years they have had obstacles to surmount, and no doubt every neutral in the county will be rooting for them this Sunday.

However, John Kenny and his management team of John Ruane, Joe Corocoran, Paddy Madden and Barry Commins know Corofin don't do sentiment.

They will be fully aware that they will have to produce a far superior performance than last Sunday’s if they are to topple the current champions.

However, there is nothing certain in sport and St Michael's will head to Tuam Stadium this Sunday with their heads held high, and with belief and resolve coursing through their veins.

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