A foul afternoon against limited opponents can frequently be a tricky fence to negotiate. As the rain spilled relentlessly from a wicked Kiltoom sky Corofin simply needed to answer the questions that were being posed of them. Corofin’s responses were immaculate.
Tracing through the semi-final disposal of Castlerea and the statistics are all encouraging. A tigerish defensive display ensured goalkeeper Bernard Power trotted off with a clean sheet. Castlerea’s previously respected attack could only summon two scores from play as Corofin’s shrewd rearguard action restricted the opportunities.
At centrefield Greg Higgins and Aidan Donnellan funnelled ball into a forward unit that moved smoothly through the gears. Before that contest Corofin wondered about their own potency, but the facts and figures were more than satisfactory. Trevor Burke, still going strong, pinged over two, while David Hanley, all effective industry, capped a dynamic display with four points.
Damage was done inside too. The versatile Jason Killeen was the spearhead as Joe Canney, one of the most underrated footballers in the county, dashed around clipping over efforts and vexing Castlerea, who simply couldn’t contain his pacy incisions. And just for decoration Alan O’Donovan flashed a reminder of his clinical finishing ability with a tidy 41st minute goal.
Still at the exact same time over at Markievicz Park Eastern Harps were fending off Ballaghderreen. Every year Mayo’s standard bearers are always renowned as serious challengers, but Harps were efficient.
Inevitably it was Paul Taylor, so suited to the winter game, who was inflicting the damage, winning ball on the heavy surface while also kicking the frees with customary grace. Corofin, though, possess several candidates who would relish a physical combat with Taylor, and Kieran Fitzgerald will lead the posse.
Elsewhere the Harps team is flecked with inter-county experience. Ross Donavan gathered favourable reviews for his 2007 contributions to Sligo’s rare march to the All Ireland quarter finals, while Brendan Phillips and Tony Taylor are other players worthy of respect.
That is precisely what Corofin will afford Harps considering the 2002 provincial championship reversal in the north west. Corofin will be cautious, but it doesn’t mean that there will be a shortage of confidence.
Jimmy Sice and his loyal backroom assistants are cognisant of what will be required to prolong the season. Corofin crave to be involved in competitive fare until next March, and they want to be training under the neon lights for another few months.
When Corofin are in the groove they are notoriously difficult to disturb. Ultimately that is the reason they will venture up the N17 with its stone walls and green grass, travelling with positive thoughts and dreams.