GALWAY GAA: (Preview) – COROFIN vs MOOREFIELD (Saturday, 2pm Tullamore) 

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21 January 2018; Colin Brady of Corofin in action against Roger Morgan of Fulham Irish during the AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Quarter-Final Refixture match between Fulham Irish and Corofin at McGovern Park in Ruislip, England. Photo by Matt Impey/Sportsfile

(Photo – Galway GAA)

After successfully retaining their Connacht title and coming through two trips to London, Corofin go in search of an All-Ireland senior club football final against Kildare’s Moorefield. 

The Galway champions will be favourites, experienced at this stage, and took their second national crown beating Slaughtneil in 2015.

Kevin O’Brien’s team have dominated the Galway circuit and showed their determination to outlast Roscommon’s St. Brigid’s and Mayo’s Castlebar Mitchells.  And despite conceding 1-1 early against Fulham Gaels in January, goals for Liam Silke, Ian Burke and Colin Bray put them back into the final four.

In order to beat their disappointing exit to Dr. Croke’s in 2017, Corofin will have to hold off a determined Moorefield who created one of the year’s top stories in their Leinster Final win over St. Loman’s, Mullingar.

Trailing by six points entering the 59th minute, they stormed back with Eanna O’Connor (son of Kerry’s Jack) kicking points before former county star Ronan Sweeney received James Murray’s delivery for a goal.

And just when it seemed destined the teams would finish all square, Sweeney plucked what looked a dead ball from the sky before setting up Kevin Murnaghan for the winner.

It shouldn’t be suprising that Ross Glavin’s men could create a comeback as they’ve been doing it all season.  They trailed Confey in their domestic opener by five with as many minutes remaining.  And red cards for Daryl Finn and David Whyte didn’t deny them a first county title since 2006 against Celbridge.

Liam Healy, Mark Dempsey, Murnaghan and Murray are their top defenders while Finn, Whyte and Aaron Masterson are effective midfielders.  Sweeney, O’Connor and Niall Hurley Lynch lead their attack.

That being said, Corofin carry much experience and survived their own scares including the Galway semi-final against Annaghdown.

Bernard Power is a county keeper; Silke, the evergreen Kieran Fitzgerald, Kieran Molloy, Ciaran McGrath and Dylan Wall are tough defenders; midfielder Ronan Steede was man of the match in the quarter-final; while Gary Sice, Micheal Lunday, Jason Leonard and Ian Burke are formidable attackers.

Corofin are 4/11 favourites with Moorefield at 10/3.  That sounds about right but if they are to prevail, Corofin can’t be sure of a Croke Park place until the final whistle has blown.

Verdict: Corofin