Salthill and Corofin meet in repeat of 2016 county final

This Saturday’s preliminary championship quarter-final in Tuam Stadium at 3.45pm between Corofin and Salthill/Knocknacarra will be a repeat performance of last year’s county final.

In that clash, Corofin were put to the pin of their collar by the city side before emerging victors to record a historic four-in-a-row for the club.

The current champions are odds-on to advance to yet another quarter-final, but this improving Salthill side will be hoping to have a big say in that in two days time.

Much will be expected of Galway’s two man full forward line of Seán Armstrong and Ian Burke on the respective sides in this championship clash.

Armstrong is on the back of a fantastic summer with the county senior side, whereas Burke tormented the Donegal and Kerry defences in his two outings for the county.

There is a strong possibility county defender Liam Silke will be given the job of trying to keep tabs on Armstrong and Val Daly and his selectors Tommy Kelly and Seán O'Dowd will have also come up with a plan to try to minimise Burke's influence.

The likelihood is that both teams will have some extra cover in their defences to try to stop the effect both players will have in the match.

In last year’s county final Armstrong caused plenty of trouble for the Corofin defence and was the most influential forward on display from both sides. If he can maintain the high standards he set with Galway during the championship, he has the potential to make it another tough day for the Corofin rearguard.

Plenty will also be expected again from Salthill’s county minor midfielder Evan Murphy, who has huge potential. Whether out the field, or in the inside forwards for his team, the city side will need a huge performance from this young man if they are to get through this weekend.

Corofin will be missing All-Star hurler and a key player in their squad with Daithí Burke lining out at full-back in the All-Ieland hurling final on Sunday against Waterford.

Ronan Steede back from injury

On the plus side Corofin will be delighted to welcome back Ronan Steede from injury as well as their two county U21s who were in America for the summer, Dylan McHugh and Kieran Molloy.

Whether these two come straight back into the team is another question, and one only team manager Kevin O'Brien and his selectors can answer as Corofin have always had good depth to their squads. However, both players should see some game time this weekend.

Two other massively talented players from this year's county U21 team are Salthill’s Robert Finnerty and Corofin’s Colin Brady.

Brady who has had two great games so far putting in two scoring performances added to his powerful running will be a constant threat on Saturday, while Finnerty has more than enough in his locker to put any team to the sword on his day if he is in the mood and gets regular supply.

With all the focus on Armstrong and Burke, either of those two players could end up having the final say in this game.

This is a young Salthill team that has been successful at different stages in underage, and with experienced heads such as Armstrong and Gavin Duffy they must be seen at the moment as one of the teams best equipped to end Corofin’s dominance in the Frank Fox cup.

Salthill/Knocknacarra do have the definite advantage of playing a championship game last weekend in their two point win over a gallant St Michael's outfit, whereas the men from north Galway have not played championship for well over two months.

That said, Corofin are expected to be a little too strong as they have a lot of players up front such as Gary Sice, Micheal Lundy, Dylan Wall and the Farragher brothers who are capable of putting in a big performance and hitting a match winning tally.

It should be tight, and Salthill/Knocknacarra are capable of springing a shock, however, most football people are expecting a Corofin victory.


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