THE AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Semi-Final between Corofin and Dr Crokes has been fixed for 4pm in the Gaelic Grounds Limerick tomorrow.
Corofin have won six Connacht titles, just one less than Roscommon’s Clanna Gael. Crokes have been the dominant team in Munster in the past two decades but Crossmaglen have sidelined their bid for All Ireland glory to add to their only All Ireland win in 1992. Now that that northern team is out of the reckoning Crokes will be very keen to win tomorrow to set up a final in Croke Park on St Patrick’s day. Under the guidance of the highly motivated Pat O Shea, Crokes have been impressive both in Kerry and in Munster.
They blitzed The Nire in the Munster final. The game was over effectively by half time. Dáithí Casey, winner of the Munster Provincial club player of the year 2016, broke their hearts in the first half when he helped himself to a hat trick of goals. He is equally at home in most central positions at numbers 8, 11 and 14. Strong and speedy he is very good on the ball. He will probably be picked up by one of the Burkes or Ciarán McGrath. The Crokes have a lethal full forward line so the idea is to get the ball in fast to Colm Cooper, Kieran O’Leary and possibly Tony Brosnan. This is where the real scoring opportunities will emerge.
EOIN BROSNAN INJURED
Eoin Brosnan is a very doubtful starter and he would be a big loss to Crokes, if he has not recovered. Highly motivated and experienced he can play with equal effect anywhere in defence and also at midfield. Remember also that he starred as a goal getter at number 11 for Kerry. Crokes have a strong bench with plenty of options and the team management have had two weeks to prepare knowing that Brosnan will probably be unable to start.
Crokes are strong at midfield where Johnny Buckley will team up with the experienced Ambrose o Donavan. They have options of course where Buckley can move to wing forward and Casey can man the centre. The Croke defence is often maligned but they have done very well except for the Rathmore game. They will look to the experienced John Payne, Fionn Fitzgerald and Gavin White the real emerging star at wingback. Kerry under-21 star Mícheál Burns is certain to see action at some stage. He has a great engine and does very well when he enters the fray.
Corofin’s Ian Burke has won the AIB GAA Connacht Club Footballer of the Year 2016 for his performances with Corofin in the 2016 provincial club season. The national and regional sports media voted for the awards. The presentation of the award took place in Croke Park recently. He is a key man for Corofin tomorrow.
The Galway Sports Stars banquet took place in the Galway Bay Hotel recently where the Gaelic football award went to Corofin’s defensive dynamo Ciarán McGrath, while Ciarán’s clubmate, Dáithí Burke, was honoured with a Special Achievement award.
Dr Crokes’ Daithí Casey is pictured ahead of their clash in the AIB GAA Senior Football Club Championship Semi Final against Corofin on February 11.
PICTURE: RAMSEY CARDY/SPORTSFILE