Connacht will stage the first of the AIB GAA football senior provincial club finals on Sunday as Roscommon champions St. Brigid’s take on Galway champions Corofin in Kiltoom at 2pm.
Neither side are strangers to provincial final day with defending Connacht champions and 2011 All-Ireland Final runner-up’s St. Brigids meeting Corofin, five time winners of the title and the second most successful club in the province.
Two time winners St. Brigids will be hoping to take the title for a third time following last year’s dramatic final in which they came from behind to beat opponents Killererin (Galway) in extra-time.
For their own part, Corofin will be hoping to eradicate the memories of the last meeting between the teams at the provincial final stage, which saw St. Brigids take the title in dramatic fashion.
The two sides last met in the Connacht final in 2006 when the Roscommon men won (1-10 to 3-3), thanks to a spectacular goal in stoppage time from midfielder, Karol Mannion.
In a rather unusual scoring pattern, St.Brigid’s led by 0-7 to 2-0 at half time while Corofin scored as many goals as points in the course of the hour.
Corofin go in search of their sixth title and their first since they did the double in 2008 and 2009.
St.Brigid’s powered into this year’s final with a 0-16 to 0-10 win over Tourlestrane in the semi-final while Corofin squeezed past Ballintubber (Mayo) on a 1-11 to 2-7 scoreline.
Senan Kilbride scored 0-8 and Frankie Dolan 0-4 for St.Brigid’s who will also be looking to fellow county stars, Karol Mannion and Peter Domican for inspiration as they attempt to become the first Roscommon club to win successive titles since Clann na nGael won six-in-a-row in 1984-89.
Corofin trailed by 1-4 to 0-1 after 11 minutes against Ballintubber but recovered well and led by 1-8 to 1-4 at half-time.
It was all square after 42 minutes and in a tense finale, Corofin edged home by a point. Alan O’Donovan scored 0-8 for the winners ,who also had excellent campaigners in Alan Burke, Michael Comer, Kieran Fitzgerald and Gary Sice.
The game is hard to call, however home-side St.Brigids might just have the edge in this decider.
Verdict: St. Brigids