THERE is a hell of a long way to go yet but were Corofin to go on to claim the All-Ireland club football championship for the third time in 2018, no one could accuse them of doing it the easy way.
Two weekends ago, Corofin secured a historic eighth Connacht title as they surpassed the achievements of the great Clann na nGael team of the 80’s following their outstanding extra-time victory over Castlebar Mitchels in Tuam.
Time to reflect and enjoy that success has been short, however, as Kevin O’Brien’s side get their passports in check for a trip to Ruislip to take on London champions Fulham Irish in the All-Ireland quarter-final on Sunday (1pm).
Prior to the Connacht final, Corofin also required extra-time to get by the challenge of Roscommon champions St Brigid’s before securing their place in the provincial decider. One thing abundantly clear reflecting back on their Connacht campaign is that Corofin, to a man, are in peak physical condition.
Victory on Sunday will see Corofin progress to the last four and join Ulster champions Slaughtneil, Munster kingpins Nemo Rangers, as well as the winners of the Leinster decider between St Loman’s and Moorefield.
Bookmakers have Corofin at 1/20 favourites to brush aside the challenge of Fulham Irish, who are managed by former Down All-Ireland winner Greg McCartan and while the London side may come out of the blocks quickly and pose questions early on, Corofin’s class will prove too much.
That being said, no one in the Corofin set-up will be taking the challenge lightly. They won’t look at it as a weekend away (much as they may want to), but rather the next step on the road to Croker.
Fulham Irish for their part have had a memorable year. Founded in 2006, they claimed only their second London senior title in October, defeating 16 time champions Tír Chonaill Gaels with an injury-time free by former Tyrone star Owen Mulligan, who is in his first year with the London side.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.