TWO of the great Connacht club sides of the past decade square off once more this weekend as Corofin do battle with Roscommon kingpins St Brigid’s in the semi-final of the provincial senior football championship in Tuam Stadium on Sunday (2pm).
Both have captured numerous county titles in recent times with Corofin winning their fifth in-a-row this year, while St Brigid’s have triumphed in Roscommon in seven of the past eight years, but now a place in the Connacht final is at stake as the sides get set to add another chapter to a rivalry that dates all the way back to 2006.
They clashed in that year’s Connacht final with St Brigid’s coming out on top courtesy of a late goal while five years later, the Roscommon champions again came up trumps at the same stage by 0-11 to 0-10 in Kiltoom.
Corofin eventually exacted a measure of revenge for those years of heartache, comprehensively beating St Brigid’s 2-13 to 0-5 in the trilogy clash last year in Carrick-on-Shannon.
In what was an all-conquering display by Corofin, Kevin O’Brien’s side blew their Roscommon counterparts out of the water as their rival’s season came to a shuddering halt.
In the aftermath of last year’s clash, St Brigid’s manager Frankie Dolan bemoaned the lack of aggression and intensity shown by his side right from the start, which allowed Corofin to play the game on their terms.
Dolan is a proud St Brigid’s man and no doubt will have his side fired up to atone for last year’s no show when referee Eamon O’Grady throws the ball up come 2pm on Sunday.
The opening exchanges are likely to be fiery as St Brigid’s will look to send out a statement of intent to Corofin and O’Brien must have his men primed for the physical battle that lies ahead.
“They’re a proud club. They’ve been there for the last few years no more than ourselves and Castlebar and they’ll come to Tuam on Sunday with a point to prove no doubt about that. They’re a big team you know, they’ll bring that physicality to the game. You expect nothing less at this stage of the competition,” the Corofin manager said.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.