I had one eye on the TV this afternoon (with the other on the roast chicken) where TG4 had live coverage from Kiltoom of what turned out to be a rather bad-tempered Connacht club final. St Brigid’s of Roscommon had plenty of home support but they had to battle hard to get past Galway’s Corofin which they eventually did by just a single point. It was a contentious outcome too with the ref getting a fairly bad barracking from the losing supporters as he was escorted from the pitch at the end.
The carry-on of Corofin’s supporters couldn’t be justified even if (as happened to Louth in last year’s Leinster final) their side’s defeat could be put down directly to the ref’s performance. That wasn’t the case today – Mayo’s Liam Devenney didn’t cover himself in glory and struggled to keep control of a match in which a number of hefty lads were in the mood to clatter into each other all afternoon long but there’s no way he showed any favouritism towards the home team.
Indeed, as Action81.com points out in this excellent analysis of today’s decider, the fact that Corofin failed to score for almost 20 minutes of the second period – during which time St Brigid’s turned a three-point deficit into a two-point advantage – probably had more to do with their defeat than any perceived failings on the officiating front. Those of an uncharitable disposition might go further and say that the Galway champions – who, in sneaking by Ballintubber in the previous round, were widely regarded as having been a good deal more cute in playing for frees in the closing stages – ended up getting hoist on their own petard this afternoon. I’m not sure that would be wholly correct either but I think it is fair to declare that St Brigid’s third Connacht club title was won on merit today.
The Rossie lads now have a quarter-final date with Fulham Irish over in Ruislip on the 4th December with the winners then facing the Leinster champions in the All-Ireland semi-final in early February next year.