Corofin can edge what promises to be epic clash
It has taken Corofin six games to reach this point and now 60 minutes against Ballintubber in an eagerly-awaiting Connacht Club final will decide a year’s work at MacHale Park, Castlebar on Sunday afternoon (throw-in 2pm).
These two have been the standout teams in the province this season and it’s no surprise that both arrive at this juncture.
All of Corofin’s matches have been decided by wide margins and they go into Sunday’s decider without being put on the back foot for a sustained spell never mind having to grind out a win. They couldn’t have been more clinical in Galway, shooting the lights out in almost every match up to the point that they are, through no fault of their own, almost completely untested. Ballintubber were beaten just once on their way to wrapping up the double in Mayo and, in sharp contrast to their opponents, survived some stern tests of their mettle against Castlebar Mitchels and St. Brigid’s in their last two matches.
Expect a close match. The last three clashes of the Galway and Mayo champions have been one-point games and considering Ballintubber have taken down the All-Ireland runner-ups of '13 and All-Ireland champions of '12 and have the advantage of playing in the familiar surrounds of MacHale Park, it’s perhaps a little surprising to see Corofin installed such clear favourites - even allowing for their devastating form all year.
They went off shorter than even money to win Galway, which seemed an incredibly short price in a 21-horse race, yet it proved totally justified as the championship was reduced to a series of very one-sided affairs. They have moved onto a new level while their closest challengers have all slipped back for a variety of reasons and winning margins of 13, 10, 6, 26 and 18 points underline just how far ahead they currently are.