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Champions Corofin and former kingpins Salthill set for first round clash

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Corofin's Mike Farragher and Salthill Knocknacarra's Sean Gavin in action during the 2013 Galway football final. The clubs have been drawn to meet each other in the first round of this year's championship.

GALWAY GAA certainly won’t need any promotional gimmick when it comes to marketing the 2015 county senior football championship after the two local super-powers – champions Corofin and Salthill / Knocknacarra – were pitted against one another in the first round.

No doubt, the draws for the Galway senior and intermediate football championships, which were broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Monday evening, have certainly thrown up some fascinating pairings, none less than the meeting of Corofin and Salthill/Knocknacarra.

Although the sides did not clash in last year’s championship, they did spar in the 2013 county decider, with Corofin underlining their status as Galway’s most successful team of the last two decades with a resounding 2-13 to 0-7 victory.

What was disappointing from the city side’s perspective was that they were reigning county champions at the time – having accounted for Tuam Stars in the 2012 final – yet they never got to grips with the power and pace of their opponents.

That said, Corofin have been the form team since getting back on the glory trail in 1991. Up to this point, they had just three titles to their name. As of today, they have 16, with only Salthill/Knocknacarra and a now declining Killererin posing any real threat to their dominance in recent years.

At any rate, the clash of Galway’s two big guns will whet the local appetite, particularly if Corofin enter that first round fixture as newly crowned All-Ireland club champions. Should they do so, they would be meeting the last Galway team to have lifted the Andy Merrigan Cup, which was, of course, Salthill/Knocknacarra in the Spring of 2006.

The draw also threw up some other interesting pairings. Last year’s beaten finalists St. Michael’s will begin their campaign with a tricky championship opener against Cortoon Shamrocks while 2010 county champions Killererin, having escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth, will face Leitir Mór.

Two other sides with title ambitions, Mountbellew/Moylough and St. James’, will be another tie to watch while a fixture that is sure to tingle the senses will be the all-Connemara clash between Micheal Breathnach and An Cheathrú Rua.

Another of the Connemara representatives, Carna Caiseal face Annaghdown, a side with some potential, while 2014 intermediate champions Killanin will travel in from the West to take on last year’s county semi-finalists Barna in the first round.

The remaining SFC ties see Tuam Stars facing Kilconly; Caltra taking on Kilkerrin-Clonberne; and Caherlistrane meeting Milltown, a team, one suspects, will be anxious to make a winning start to their championship after getting wiped out by Corofin in the semi-finals last year.

In the intermediate championship, the stand-out first round fixture is the derby between last year’s beaten finalists Moycullen and Oughterard. Having conceded ground to neighbours Killanin in the 2014 decider, Moycullen will not want to bend the knee to another of their local rivals.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

City sides will fancy chances of advancing as champions face Corofin

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Bearna's James Kennedy hits the deck in Ballinasloe on Tuesday as Annaghdown's Frankie Burke and Darragh Meehan try to chase down possession. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The battle for this year’s county Senior Gaelic football club title looks to be wide open after the quarter-final draw was made this week following the delayed conclusion of the group stages on Tuesday night.

Salthill/Knocknacarra, who finished second in group 2, have been handed a last eight tie with a Tuam Stars side that finished third in group 1; while St Michael’s, who topped Group 3, will face an Annaghdown side that nabbed the final quarter-final spot in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night.

They went into their game with Bearna knowing they needed to win by a minimum of 12points to pip Milltown to the final qualifying spot as the second best of the teams that finished third in the group stages.

They looked to be coming up just short until they were awarded a late free, which goalkeeper James Healy converted, to snatch that remaining quarter-final slot on socring difference form Milltown.

The 2020 champions, Moycullen, will take on Claregalway in the last eight; while the pick of the ties is undoubtedly the clash of defending champions, Mountbellew/Moylough, with a Corofin side that was denied the five-in-a-row by Moycullen two years ago.

At the other end of the equation, St James’ are in a relegation battle, and face a clash with An Spidéal in the preliminary play-offs. A win will secure their senior status for another year, but a defeat will see them join Oughterard, An Cheathru Rua, and the losers of the other preliminary play-off between Caherlistrane and Monivea/Abbey in a round robin league, with the bottom two sides in those play-offs dropping to the intermediate ranks next year.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Play-offs dress rehearsal facing Utd against Treaty

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Former Galway United player Enda Curran celebrates his recent hat-trick for Treaty United in their FAI Cup quarter-final win over UCD. The in-form Mervue native will be facing the Tribesmen in a First Division clash on Friday.

GALWAY United head to Limerick this Friday evening for what is looking like a dress rehearsal for the end-of-season play-offs as they take on Treaty United in the Markets Field (7.45pm).

This is United’s game-in-hand over league leaders, Cork City, and a win will see them close the gap on the Leesiders to four points with three games remaining, and while a win would give the slightest of hopes of a late challenge for league honours, it is more likely to serve as a further boost to confidence ahead of the protracted play-off series that kicks-off at the end of next month.

United need to win their final four games to have any hope of snatching the title, and given the goal difference between the sides, they also need to hope that City don’t pick up more than four points from their last three games, if they are to finish top of the pile.

United’s last three games after this weekend are at home to Athlone, away to Wexford, and home to Longford Town; while City are home to Wexford, away to Athlone, and home to Bray, the easier of the two run-ins, so for United it is all about building momentum ahead of the play-offs.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Late points from Burke and Wall grab draw for Corofin

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Tuam Stars' Paul Collins tries to halt Ronan Steede of Corofin in his tracks during Sunday's Senior Football Group 1 encounter at Tuam Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Corofin 0-16

Tuam Stars 0-16

Eanna O’Reilly at Tuam Stadium

A late point from Corofin’s Ian Burke denied Tuam Stars a notable win over their close neighbours in an entertaining contest at Tuam Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In a closely fought contest, the Stars appeared to have done enough with two late points from Brian Mannion putting them ahead by 0-16 to 0-14 in the dying minutes of the second half.

In typically composed fashion however, Corofin refused to panic and used all of their experience to engineer two late scores, the first from Dylan Wall, before Burke held his nerve to convert a mark to give Corofin a share of the spoils.

The result means that both sides qualified for the quarter finals, after both finished the group stages with eight points. Corofin were drawn against defending champions Mountbellew/Moylough in a mouth-watering tie, while Tuam Stars will face Salthill/Knocknacara in another intriguing clash.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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