Saturday 18 November, we will see the clash between Galway kingpins Corofin and Mayo champions Ballina in the Connacht senior club semi-final in Pearse Stadium, Salthill.
Ballina Stephanites have had just six days to prepare for this stern test after their comprehensive 15-point win over London champions Fulham Irish.
Corofin got over the line in their county final against reigning Connacht champions Moycullen and will be eager to go further in the Connacht championship.
Ballina were without three of their crucial players against Fulham Irish, with Padraig O’Hora, Dylan Thornton and Evan Regan all unavailable for that clash. Ballina manager Niall Heffernan will be hoping to get them back for the massive test of Corofin.
Corofin are well familiar at this stage of getting out of Galway, progressing in Connacht, and competing in the All-Ireland series. They have an impressive 10 Connacht titles to their name, with the most recent coming in 2020. They also have 5 All Irelands, with four coming in the last 8 years.
They famously became the first club team to win 3 All-Irelands in a row when they did so in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Ballina won their first Mayo championship since 2007 this year after coming close in recent years. The men from Mayo went on to win the Connacht title the same year.
This game will have many key matchups with county players such as Liam Silke, Dylan Mc Hugh, Kieran Molloy and Padraig O’Hora. Other names to look out for include Ronan Steede, Tony Gill and the 39-year-old star man Gary Sice for Corofin.
Ballina have the Irwin brothers Jack and Frank, who is a member of the Mayo senior team along with fellow panellist Conor Mc Stay in the forwards. The man that makes Ballina tick is sharpshooter Evan Regan, who has previous experience with Mayo.
The Corofin manager, Kevin Johnston, previously managed Ballintubber in Mayo and will know what to expect when his charges come up against the men from Ballina.
Corofin are hot favourites with the bookmakers for this one, but Ballina will be no push-over. The winner of this clash will take on the winners of St Brigid’s (Roscommon) and Mohill (Leitrim) in the Connacht final. The game will be live on RTE1 with a throw-in time of 2pm.
Prediction: Corofin will be too strong in attack and will win by 4-5 points.
Final score of the match: Corofin 0-16 Ballina 0-12.
Corofin are set to face St Brigid’s from Roscommon in Dr Hyde Park in the provincial final on Sunday 3 December.