Club semi-finals on this Saturday

Leinster club final

I know the rest of you may not be overly exercised about this Saturday’s All-Ireland senior club semi-finals but the excitement is building in this corner of the capital where our local club St Vincents are preparing to do battle with Galway’s Corofin at O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Saturday (throw-in 2pm).  On the same day, Derry’s Slaughtneil take on Austin Stacks from Kerry at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, in the other penultimate round tie.

Vinnies are, of course, the defending All-Ireland champions and so appearing in another All-Ireland semi shouldn’t exactly faze them. It is, though, uncharted waters for them, in the sense that they’ve never before made it to successive All-Ireland club finals – last December’s Leinster triumph was their first ever back-to-back provincial success – so they’re definitely not approaching this one as just a stepping stone to another Patrick’s Day appearance at HQ.

The quality in Corofin’s ranks hasn’t gone unnoticed up here either. Ballintubber were worthy county champs but the Galway lads comprehensively dismantled their challenge in the Connacht final and they won’t have any inferiority complex either in taking on the holders of the Andy Merrigan Cup on Saturday. And of course they’re not complete strangers to this particular silverware, having tasted All-Ireland success themselves back in 1998.

The bookies are struggling to separate the two clubs heading into Saturday’s showdown, with our lads on offer at evens while Corofin are available at 11/10. The other semi-final is a different story, with Slaughtneil – who are managed, incidentally, by old Mayo bainisteoir Mickey Moran –  the clear 4/7 favourites to prevail in that one. For once, then, it would appear that there’s no need for any pre-match self-deprecatory guff from the Kerry fraternity but, that said, any team with Kieran Donaghy in its ranks can’t be written off too lightly.

Time for a poll on this, I reckon. The poll below allows you to pick two out of the four options on offer but it goes without saying (though I’ll say it anyway) that it would make no sense to use this extra latitude to vote for Vincents and Corofin or Slaughtneil and Stacks. But, of course, you knew that already didn’t you? Off now and vote now, let ye.

Who'll win this weekend's All-Ireland club semi-finals?

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21 thoughts on “Club semi-finals on this Saturday

  1. Let’s not forget that there’s a Crossmolina man at the helm in Corofin either with Stephen Rochford leading the Galwaymen into battle in Tullamore. I find it very hard to see past Vincent’s but will be shouting for Corofin on Saturday.

    I have a funny feeling Austin Stacks will sneak the other game too but am very happy to be proved wrong on both counts!

  2. One would imagine Vincent’s and Corofin is the de facto All Ireland final. Really can’t see Corofin laying a glove on Vincent’s. Great side. Would be worthy double champs.

  3. I hope corofin win to I wonder who will mark connolly that will be interesting I actually think connolly is better the brogan to be honest that goal he scored against castlebar was something else.

  4. Really difficult to call Vincents and Corofin. I saw a game with Stacks last year either a final or semi final and I was not impressed. A year is a long time in any club and I would not be surprised to see experience over inexperience prevail in this one, coupled with the influence Donaghy might be able to bring to the table.

  5. Actually fancy the Derry champions to beat stacks.corofin and Vincent’s very hard to call.be good to see corofin win with a Crossmolina man in charge.hopefully the powers in mayo Gaa will see fit to give him some roll at coaching next season.he was part of the famous strategic review committee and is a very knowledgeable coach.

  6. vincents stock will be high as all ireland champions and they look the favourites. the other three will have their work cut out for them.But thats the great thing about sport you never know and its all on the day.

  7. I hope Stephen Rochford has not put himself outside the pale with Mayo GAA officialdom due to his involvement in the famous? Strategic Review Committee. As I suspect Peter Forde and a few others did due to their involvement in the 1992 “strike” on the management issue.
    Anyway I hope Corofin come through and win out on Patrick’s Day. If only because it would make it more difficult for the powers that be to ignore him.

  8. I fancy Corrofin to give Vincent’s a clippin , some classy forwards on display for both teams and the Burke lad from Galway is as stylish as they come. Nothing compares to a stylish forward in Gaelic football and the sooner the powers that be realises this the better , I believe they need more protection, a rule change even ie multiple men surrounding the forward should be looked at with a view to limiting the number that can surround a man or so many allowed in each half at any one time .

  9. Hope Andy D is wrong. Rochford would be an asset. By the way if people have time or the resources they should read the Mayo Strategic Review ( the Mayo county board requested it by the way) and compare it to the Ddublin Blue Wave which was adopted , they won’t see any material difference except that since Dublin accepted their blueprint they won 2 Senior All Irelands, 2 league titles, 2 U21s along with1 minor and senior club title. I know, no real difference is there?

  10. John Cuffe,

    In what way do you hope I am wrong? I said I hope Stephen Rochford has not put himself outside the pale with Mayo officialdom. From all you have said in the past and your reply above I would have thought you would share that hope. Or do you share my fear without speaking of it or even acknowledging it to your self? It is my belief that Peter Forde should have succeeded John Maughan in 1999 rather than the recently retired Pat Holmes being handed the job without any real experience but that his involvement in the 1992 shambles ruled him out with the powers that be.

  11. One massive difference John is money and sponsorship. A second one is player numbers and Id say from a geographical perspective Dublin has advantage as well as not much travelling for training. Come to think of it the Dubs facilities are ahead of ours also and they are not up to their eyeballs in debt because of development of county ground. The amazing thing is that counties like ourselves, Donegal etc can even compete with them. {That is not to say our Co Board should have ignored strategic review}

  12. I fancy Derry’s Slaughtneil to win as Stacks no great shakes and Dr Crokes would beat them well if they faced them this weekend. The other semi final is that All Ireland final in all but name i’m going for St Vincents to win because Corofins form has dipped since the Connacht final, needed a replay to win the Galway league final and struggled to put away the London champions. Thomas mossy Beirne to outshine Connolly again i reckon.

  13. From a purely selfish point of view it would suit us better in Mayo if the Derry and Dublin champions won. If either team loses this week-end, then the chances of Derry and Dublin having their club tied players back for their League games against us would be greater. That will make tough games even tougher. Hopefully they will be two good games anyway.

  14. Fair play to Corofin , classy classy forwards . Bigger picture for ourselves , Galway will be a force soon.

  15. Ha i was a mile off. St Vincents so off the pace today and their defence all over the place key men well held. Corofin should have won by more well done to them the last time they won the All Ireland 1998 so did Galway hmm..

  16. As always whoever has the best organised backs will win easily. And the way the game is now with Vincent’s having the best forwards in the country yet it don’t matter when backs are organised. The Corofin forwards are average nothing to be afraid off, they wasted ball and kicked it into the goalie same as many other forwards, but when the backs do there job so well as good backs do everyday, then it easy to win. This is what makes good managers, they know how to do it, and Stephen knows how to do it, which me as a Mayo man concerned about our current management, as today’s result is what should have happened last Paddy day.

  17. Don’t think Lundy or Burke are average forwards however Corofin certainly defended better than their opponents. Not sure have Vincents the best forwards in the country either as Quinn must be mid 30s now while Connolly on the scoring stakes blows hot and cold.

    Vincents not at the level of last year on todays viewing, has been a long year for them nearly impossible to defending a club All Ireland title nowadays.

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