Corofin’s unexpected loss darkens local football mood ahead of 2024

Inside Track with John McIntyre

JUST when we were starting to wonder if another era of dominance was dawning for the Corofin footballers, the rug was pulled from under their feet in no uncertain terms by a lively and fiercely committed St Brigid’s outfit in the provincial decider at Hyde Park on Sunday.

In a final in which Corofin never led, were restricted to just seven scores and were untypically wayward with their shooting in the third quarter, the Galway champions limped out of the championship to a Ben O’Carroll inspired Roscommon outfit which called the shots from the off.

Indeed, looking at Corofin’s overall struggles, there’s probably a couple of teams in Galway surely pondering this week their failure to get their hands on the Frank Fox Cup in 2023. Kevin Johnson’s charges were well beaten despite their two goals coming at critical junctures and helping to close the deficit to a solitary point.

After 39 minutes, Corofin were just 2-2 to 1-6 behind and had some momentum, but from there to the finish they were outscored by seven points to three. There’s no argument with that statistic. Corofin were surprisingly made to look ordinary on a day eyebrows were raised by the decision to leave Kieran Molloy – not that he burned it up after being introduced – and county final goal scorer Tony Gill on the bench.

Having lost two previous finals to St Brigid’s, it’s not as though Corofin would have sleepwalked their way into the fixture. They just lacked the energy and desire of the Roscommon title holders who also had an edge in mobility. Having survived close encounters against Boyle in the county final and Mohill of Leitrim in the Connacht semi-final, there were reservations about St Brigid’s quality, but they fairly quashed those on Sunday.

They were quickly into their stride and an avoidable shoulder by Corofin goalkeeper Bernard Power on Alan Daly presented O’Connell with a penalty chance in the 14th minute. He didn’t miss. Finding themselves five points down against hungry opponents, you already knew Corofin were in a major battle.

Pictured: Corofin’s Liam Silke is challenged by Conor Hand of St Brigid’s during the Connacht Club Football Senior Final at Dr Hyde Park on Sunday. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/ Sportsfile.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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