STEPHEN GLENNON IN LONDON
COROFIN management and players were left disappointed after their All-Ireland senior club quarter-final against Fulham Gaels of London in Ruislip was called off at the 11th hour due to extreme weather conditions, but the general sentiment in the camp was that it could be all for luck.
With the Corofin contingent – which also included club officials and supporters – having made the trip overseas, it had been hoped the fixture could go ahead despite the bad weather, but following a pitch inspection at 11am by match day officials, the game was called off.
The Central Competitions Control Committee in Croke Park is due to make a decision this week on rescheduling the tie, but the most likely date is that of Sunday, January 21, as the National Football League is due to commence the following weekend.
Given the heavy snowfall since 8am on Sunday morning, the pitch inspection had been no more than a box ticking exercise, with the majority in the Corofin camp, which had been based in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Ealing, just five miles from the GAA venue, having already resigned themselves to such an outcome.
“I suppose, a lot of work goes into a trip like this – and the whole logistical side of it, getting over 50 people over here – but first and foremost you have to think of the welfare of the players and the people travelling to the game,” said Corofin boss Kevin O’Brien, having just returned from a team meeting convened shortly after the announcement.
“That was something that was very much on our minds this morning. When the word came that the match was off, I was quite happy in that regard. Even if it did clear, the pitch was still going to be slippy along with the area around it, so I think I am happy going home today not having to play in those conditions.”
Indeed, given Corofin barely escaped with their lives the last time they were over in London three years ago – on that occasion, they just about edged by Tir Chonaill Gaels in a low-scoring encounter – O’Brien had every reason to be nervous about his 1/20 favourites taking on the rank outsiders in a contest that, due to the conditions, would be a lottery.
“Yeah, the conditions would have made the game a bit more of a leveller. As I have said, they have a lot of good players and that became apparent as we looked into them more and more. That said, in terms of analysis, you are always conscious of how you perform yourself.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.