Corofin are kings of the west once again



Three of this year’s senior club football provincial finals were played this afternoon and so the race for the Andy Merrigan Cup on Patrick’s Day next year is now down to just five runners. Once the Leinster final take place – it’s fixed for Sunday week – the line-up for February’s All-Ireland semi-finals will be completed.

Galway champions Corofin already know who their next opponents will be. The 2015 All-Ireland champions crushed the 2013 Merrigan Cup winners St Brigid’s in today’s Connacht final, running away with it at Carrick-on-Shannon on a scoreline of 2-13 to 0-5.  Kerry’s Dr Crokes were even more emphatic winners in today’s Munster final, as they thrashed The Nire from Waterford by 3-15 to 0-6 at Mallow, but they’ll now have to get by Corofin to make it to Croke Park on March 17th next.

Corofin, who today equalled Clann na nGael’s haul of seven Connacht titles (interestingly, the Roscommon club completed their tally back in 1989 while Corofin only won their first provincial title in 1991), are now the 11/8 favourites to lift the cup on Patrick’s Day.  My local club up here in the capital, St Vincents, are 11/4 second favourites but they haven’t got out of Leinster yet.

The Dublin champions – for whom Enda Varley scored two points and provided assists for his teams two goals – got the better of Longford side Mullinalaghta at Pearse Park this afternoon on a scoreline of 2-12 to 0-11. I had intended making the trip down to the Midlands for the game today but other plans intervened so I had to give it a miss. There’s something else in the diary for Sunday week as well so I won’t get to the Leinster final either.

That one is Vincents against Rhode of Offaly, which is a rematch of the 2014 decider, with the winners going on to face Derry’s Slaughtneil in the All-Ireland semi-final in the New Year. The Oakleafers made it all the way to the All-Ireland final in 2015, but then lost heavily to Corofin at Croke Park. Today’s victory over Down’s Kilcoo is their second provincial success. Amazingly, this afternoon’s win by the Derry champions completed a treble of provincial football, hurling and camogie titles won by the club this year. Style on them.

28 thoughts on “Corofin are kings of the west once again

  1. That Corofin impressive Connacht final win today was very similar to their 2-13 to 1-7 win v Ballintubber in MacHale park two years ago. Tubbers only scores that day came from A Dillion 1-1,C O Connor 0-6 5fs as they were totally dominated out of the game.

    Corofin in the mood again no doubt and i don’t think Crokes or Vincents will be good enough to beat them.

  2. I was at the Vincent’s game down in Longford yesterday and they really struggled to put Mullinalaghta away which on paper they should they have done early on.
    The Longford side were well up for it though and played a really direct, skilful brand of football which was reflected in the standing ovation they received from their supporters as they left the pitch at the end of the game.
    A case of David vs. Goliath which on another day might have followed the biblical narrative!

  3. Corofin, did very well, a lot better than St Brigid’s.
    I thought some of Brigid’s, defending, was nieve.
    Their full back seemed to mark very loose, giving room to ff, which cost them.
    It shows where Mitchell’s are at.They had Corofin, on the ropes in the second half, of normal time, but couldn’t, got a score or two, to put them away.
    I noticed, Corofin, foul, out the field, breaking up attacking moves, giving away frees away from scoring zone.
    If it works, it works, but they have free scoring forwards, @ hopefully, they win it, now. Good luck to them.

  4. Good luck to Corofin now, hope they make it all the way. But their success so far is going to cost Galway, it will be harder for them now to get out of division 2,.without the Corofin contingent . Galway badly need to get back into Division 1,. I hope they succeed in doing so. It would be great to have 3 Connaught teams in Div 1, for many years now Mayo fans have had very long journey on the road to support their team versus the other Div 1 teams… The club championship is such a long journey, next February before Corofin play again, keeping the body and mind in good condition is certainly a challenge,.. The same goes for Westport players, but they are not as used to it as Corofin . Really it should not be beyond the capability of the brains of the GAA to streamline the club, Championship. No team is going to win it outright, without a county player or two. Tough if your county team is involved in the Championship until October, as was the case for Mayo and Dublin. But it would be great if the club All Ireland finals could be played by the Halloween bank holiday weekend.. Give all the players a break from football club and county, in the depth of winter, bad weather, short days. It’s only a very small minority of players that have to be involved this time of year, but surely they deserve to be playing with at least a chance of the sun on their backs!

  5. I would have a slightly different view on having more Connacht teams join us in Div 1. Understand the benefits of travel distances etc, however, when it concerns Galway and Roscommon the further down the divisions they go the better in my opinion. There is nothing that better aids a teams development than playing division 1 football on a regular basis, so why allow them any advantage that will improve their performance standards as a team that would threaten our position in the province and/or our quest for Sam. I don’t necessarily believe it can benefit us in any way by having them up there. We’ve had a wonderful journey with this current squad of players over the past five years – we all want it to continue – so watching any of our neighbours progress to a point of overtaking us would simply be unbearable !!!

  6. Well long term the benefits of us being pushed close at minor, U21 and Senior by our neighbours will pay off. It forces us to be vigilant on our development.
    I’m also of the view that I enjoy more a good close Connaught championship than a random quarter final or qualifier.

  7. Fair play 45, my sentiments exactly when it comes to ross and galway. Whatever daft notion some have of wishing them to do better and so on. I dont get it all.

  8. Leantimes, you are right there, the club player really does get screwed. No player should be playing rhis time of year, especially championship games. Whats expected of amateur players now is ridiculous, its almost a year round commitment.

    Streamlining the competitions is actually straight forward, scrap the provincials, champions league style championship with no replays, championship could be played over three months june to August. Plenty time to play club championship in a structured way with designated dates for club football set out at the start of the year.

    However I cant see any meaningful change happen for a long time. GAAs biggest strength its all inclusive every member has a vote is also its biggest weakness, its almost impossible to make a change particularly as the provincial councils will never go for it.

  9. Bridgets have gone back a good bit, and I found it hard to believe they won a county title. I am sure they must have played better during the season to get this far. I expect Sunday was a bad day at the office for them. Did a lot of supporters leave early, as the stand seemed to empty a good bit in the last 10 minutes. I can see Corofin and Vincents in the final in March. What a crazy system where an amateur competition starts early in one calendar year and finishes in another calendar year. By the time Corofin get to compete in the AI other clubs in Galway have started the process in the new season. Beyond our capability or will to organise a competition that’s starts and finishes in the same year. Its chimpansee teritory for sure.

  10. Corofin are a serious outfit, their movement and speed in the first half would be the envy of most county teams.
    The thing I can’t figure out is how more of them aren’t on the Galway team

  11. Sean Burke & is 45,..I wouldn’t mind if all 5 original Connacht county’s were Div 1,..Long shot, I know, don’t put any money on it happening any time soon. But, Look at it like this, you know in Mayo, we have our hearts broken many many times, by football, by bad luck, bad decisions. But in Mayo, we’re an obstinate people , we will never give up on the project, Sam Maguire, or our Mayo team. Not so Everywhere! Even in our near neighbours could not match in terms of attendance a qualifier match between Mayo & Kildare as a Connaught final replay the following day at the same venue . If Mayo had been playing, our rivals would bring a bigger crowd,. You know in Ireland, a crowd brings a crowd, Mayo always bring a big crowd and plenty of razzmatazz , But you have to put it into perspective, without local rivalry, Where would we be? The first big match I can remember being brought to by a neighbour, was Mayo V Roscommon 1978 Connaught final in Castlebar, it was high scoring, goals scored , goals disallowed, huge excitement, huge crowd at least that was the way it seemed to a young Leantimes, Mayo lost the match, but gained at least one loyal fan that day, since then I have missed very few Mayo championship matchs. Travelling many times from, England, Germany & the Netherlands to see Mayo in championship matches.. The game has to thrive, local darbys, the energy, the enthusiasm, needs to be harnessed for the game to flourish.. If we are to be beaten, we are to be beaten, if it’s by our neighbours, it’s by our neighbours, but then there is so much more motivation to get it right the following year ! We should not be scared of, Galway or the Rossi, if we are, how can we hope to overcome the really big predators in the GAA jungle.. We might not be All Ireland champions but we are Big Boys now in the GAA Jungle, and we can’t afford to be afraid of anybody, be it in Connaught or further afield… Besides I miss beating Galway in Tuam, and its not too hard on the petrol tank to get there either!

  12. The most disappointing, annoying thing for me is that on two days in the past few years Castlebar were good enough to seal the deal against Corofin, yet they still could not win the big one. They also beat Dr Crokes, Crossmaglen and St Brigid’s during those years.

    This is not just a Castlebar thing, it’s a Mayo problem. We have seen the same thing happen with Donegal, Kerry and Dublin landing the big prize, yet we still remain empty handed. There is no real peace of mind following Mayo teams until these stats change, unfortunately that’s just the way it is at the moment.

  13. HopeSpringsEternal – I agree 100%. The enjoyment of following Mayo has sadly left me. I don’t enjoy the build up or actual 70mins anymore. I can only enjoy once we win. The fact we have not won Sam is also in the back of my mind and until we do I won’t settle.

    I can only imagine how the players feel. Hopefully they have the energy and drive to give it another go next year.

  14. Does anyone know when will the Mayo panel be back training collectively again and is Buckley and Mc Entee staying on

  15. Hope springs, yew-tree. I would agree that some of the fun has been sucked out of going to games, this is mainly down to the pressure and expectation we put on the team, every game we are looking for an AI winning performance and are not happy if a mistaje of performance is below that standard even if its a win. The win AI at all cost attitude is taking away what should be a fun day out watching sport played at a high level.

    Personally im not going into next season with any expectations, I will just take each game as a once off and enjoy seeing some good football being played.

  16. mayomad – I think the quest for an All Ireland has taken over the entire psyche of the county. Also what is unfortunate but should we really care, Mayo as a county is now almost most famous for loosing finals over anything else.

    By the way, well done to Corofin. They really are a classy outfit but what did Briget’s offer? Flip all. I look forward to their game with Dr.Crokes.

  17. Yew_Tree, the word I would use to sum up our current situation is frustration, that’s the way I feel anyway. For example we have seen Castlebar going up to Tuam, putting in a great performance and beating Corofin in their own back yard. Yet when it came down to claiming the big prize, Corofin managed to do it but Castlebar didn’t. As a Mayo supporter that’s sickening to continue to see.

    Another example was seeing the Tipp club champions bring the Dublin club champions to extra-time, yet the Mayo club champions got blown away against the Dublin club champions. If the Mayo club champions had met the Tipp club champions in the final, they probably would have beaten them. It seems like it’s a self-belief issue as much as anything else. Look, maybe all of us Mayo people need to look in the mirror in this regard, in terms of having more self-belief in ourselves.

    Mayomad, I think what sickens people most is seeing our teams constantly making the same mistakes over and over again. Conceding poor goals, not scoring enough from play, especially up front. Giving up winning leads. Our management team getting the big calls wrong.

    In fairness to our team, we are getting closer all of the time. We are as consistent now as we have ever being in the history of Mayo GAA, without getting the ultimate rewards. Can we find those final few inches from somewhere. Only time will tell.

  18. Don’t forget HSE, we actually did win an All Ireland this year.

    Wins against Res, Dubs and Cork were top drawer. Furthermore, there was huge psychological pressure in all those games; all of them were in the melting pot for a long time. Just think of the Dublin game, 7 points up, then 7 down and looking out, but the battling qualities won out. Point scoring was a big factor and we definitely got the rub of the green.

    i still have faith in Rochy and co to develop further and bring further creativity to bear. I think they will be stronger in ’17 and will be more in control. This year was definitely a bedding in year.

  19. Yes exactly Catcol and those lads have proved at both minor and U21 level that they had massive self-belief in themselves and they also had that extra bit of flair up front. Maybe they can provide the missing inches that we are looking for in 2017!

  20. Leantimess, You were not at a Mayo v Rosc Connacht Senior Final in 1978. They met in the Semi with Rosc winning 1 = 12 to 1 = 9.
    Maybe it was 1979, the year Joe McGrath made his name with 2 = 5 against Harry Keegan.

  21. When Mayo won the U21 AI this year and the minor AI in 2013 both Galway and Roscommon were strong and difficult to beat. Once

    Maybe just maybe a more competitive senior Connacht championship with stronger Roscommon,Galway teams is what Mayo need to win before going on to win Sam.

  22. Andy D, your right it 1979, but to me it was an grand occasion. I remember the goals scored and disallowed, almost throwing the ball into the net as it was then, some score by Joe McGrath, I think it earned him an All Star award, you would never get one nowadays if your team was knocked out in a provisional semi final, . , but huge excitement all the same. The next big match for me after that was a Connaught Semi final V the League Champions Galway, also in McHale Park,1981 the day Willie Nally ruled the sky’s, that was even better. And all the sweeter to beat our neighbour’s, especially when we were such underdogs. I imagine it must have been a bit like that for Galway fans last June in Castlebar, such a shame for them that so few Galway fans actually turned up. That wouldn’t happen with Mayo, we have an abundance of support,.. and just a reminder to those of ye who haven’t yet renewed yer Season Tickets , Today Wednesday the 30th is the last day to renew, otherwise those who did not renew their tickets will go on sale and their is already a waiting list for Season Tickets. We like Dublin have sold out our allocation of Season Tickets the only two counties to do so. , Surely the GAA should make one or two thousand more available.! . So if you haven’t done so already, you have been warned!

  23. Yes, Leantimes, that aerial display by Willie Nallyv Glaway was absolutely superb. Unfortunately he never produced anything like it again. We really struggled to beat a poor Sligo team in the Connacht final and went down heavily in the All Ireland semi to Kerry. And Galway had ample revenge in Connacht the following year when we never raised a gallop. That and the 1980 Connacht Final v Roscommon was, in my experiance, our lowest ever.

  24. Andy D, Wasn’t at the 1980 Connacht t Final had to make do with the radio, remember well the 1982 Connacht Final, the day, Charlie J, Haughey came down to visit the people of Tuam in a helicopter, (an election was a foot) he managed to look happy for Galway and sad for his native people of Mayo all at the same time. Sure he managed to come from Castlebar, Derry, Dublin and Kerry all at the same well. After all he was known as the ‘Great Houdini’ .Now could ‘Keith Barry’ manage to hypnotise a crowd as big as there was in Tuam that day. I doubt it. Mayo had no such magical powers the same day. And Galways performance had to play second fiddle and to Charlie. Galway later lost out to Offaly in the All Ireland semi final,.. But the greatest and best magical trick was, kept till last, when Seamus Darby found the net with time running out for what was without greatest upsets in the most dramatic circumstances in an All Ireland final.. Eoin Liston, the Kerry full forward on the day, wrote a poem about the match, it was one of the shortest poems ever written, 5 in a Row,.. 5 in a Row.. Christ, we were close to , 5 in a Row. That’s 1982 for me!!

  25. Leantimes,

    Spot on about Eoin Liston 1982. I remember that poem.

    5 in a row, 5 in a row, christ we were close to 5 in a row.

    One of the best poems/quotes of all time.

  26. AndyD in fairness the lowest period had to be 1993/94. The 93 Connacht final was the worst game of football I ever seen it was like two bald men fighting over a comb then hammered out the gate by a Cork side that were past their best.

    94 Connacht final beaten by Leitrim. Mayo only got six scores that day which included a flukey goal in the first minute.

  27. AndyD in fairness the lowest period had to be 1993/94. The 93 Connacht final was the worst game of football I ever seen it was like two bald men fighting over a comb then hammered out the gate by a Cork side that were past their best.
    94 Connacht final beaten by Leitrim. Mayo only got six scores that day which included a flukey goal in the first minute

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