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Corofin boss Rochford pays tribute to players for delivering against Ballintubber

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Corofin's Gary Delaney eyes up his options as Ballintubber's Cillian O'Connor closes in during the Connacht Senior Club Football Final at MacHale Park on Sunday. Photo: Enda Noone.

COROFIN manager Stephen Rochford said that before their Connacht final clash with Balllintubber they had targeted the midfield sector as a key area . . . and it was a plan that worked.

Ballintubber had looked strong at midfield in their games against St. Brigids and Castlebar with Jason Gibbons and Stephen Broderick in good form, but the Corofin ploy of pulling back Greg Higgins into a sweeping role just behind Ronan Steede and Daithí Burke worked like a dream.

“We did target midfield and I suppose after the first 10 minutes of the match, we won a lot of ball around that area. Greg Higgins’ return after injury has been a big boost to us – he has given us more options around this sector,” Rochford told Tribune Sport.

He said that Corofin’s strong performance around the midfield sector had a spin-off impact all over the pitch. “It meant that the supply of ball into the Ballintubber danger men like Alan Dillon and Cillian O’Connor was greatly reduced while our own forward were getting a lot of quality early ball,” he said.

While Corofin’s big scores and quickfire attacking play may have grabbed the headlines all season, the Crossmolina sideline man, was quick to praise the work of his defence, all through the match.

“For nearly the first 55 minutes of the match we restricted the Ballintubber attack to just one point from play and I think that this was a fair tribute to our defence.

“We defended all the way from our forward line back and given the quality of the Ballintubber forwards, I had to be very happy with our overall defensive effort,” said the Crossmolina man.

This is his second year involved with Corofin in a management capacity – last year he was joint manager with David Morris but this time around, he took on the job himself, with the help of Trevor Burke, Ger Keane, Kevin O’Brien and P. J. Reilly.

Margins of victory in matches mean nothing to Stephen Rochford and he said that on the Sunday morning of the match, he would have gladly settled for a one point success.

“The lads have put in a huge effort this year and last Sunday’s win was hugely satisfying for us all. We never for one second under-estimated Ballintubber and I think every one of our players turned in good performances,” he said.

The Corofin manager though stoutly declined to comment on what might lie ahead for Corofin in 2015. “I’ve learned at this stage to look no further than the next game ahead. We always respect our opponents and this week, we’re preparing for a county league final against Annaghdown on Sunday.

“We’re also in a John Dunne Cup final while we have to plan for our trip to London on December 14 in Ruislip for our quarter-final match with Tir Chonaill Gaels. At this stage, that’s well far enough to look ahead,” added Rochford.

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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