Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 2°C
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Corofin's sweet revenge, unwanted history for O'Rourkes — Sunday GAA talking points
We also discuss Slaughtneil’s step towards a historic treble plus The Nire’s stunning upset.

Slaughtneil’s historic treble still on

Feral Meenagh with Paul McNeill Presseye / Matt Mackey/INPHO Presseye / Matt Mackey/INPHO / Matt Mackey/INPHO

THE DREAM IS still alive. The prospect of Slaughtneil completing a remarkable Ulster treble moved one step closer today.

The three in a row Derry champions easily accounted for Tyrone’s Killyclogher in the semi-final. Job done. Now they stand just 60 minutes away from wrapping up the Ulster football crown, to go nicely with the hurling and camogie provincial titles they’ve already picked up in the past month.

They’ll take on Kilcoo in the final. The Down champions last reached the decider in 2012, when they lost to Crossmaglen Rangers. Slaughtneil were Ulster champions as recently as 2014.

The Nire pull off the day’s biggest upset

Benji Whelan at the end of the game Ken Sutton / INPHO Ken Sutton / INPHO / INPHO

This was undoubtedly the upset of the day. Waterford’s The Nire are back in a Munster final, two years after their last appearance at this stage. It was Austin Stacks they played in 2014, losing by 3-5 to 2-4.

What made the achievement of reaching the decider even more impressive was the manner of their victory today. The Nire found themselves six points behind at the interval but, with Waterford hurler Conor Gleeson in fine scoring form, they forced extra-time.

From that point there was no denying this fine team and a Shane Walsh goal in the first period of the extras sealed their progression.

Corofin get sweet revenge on Castlebar 

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Corofin finally exacted revenge on Castlebar Mitchels and defeated the Mayo side on the third time of asking.

The 2015 All-Ireland club champions were visibly fired up and, in the end, a sixth straight weekend of action took an obvious toll on Castlebar. It was an absorbing encounter, as the natural attacking instinct of Corofin came up against Mitchels’ defensive nous.

With Ian Burke in inspired form inside and Gary Sice and Michael Lundy providing creativity and pace from deep, Corofin are primed for another assault on the All-Ireland. First, they’ll have to take down 2013 All-Ireland champions St Brigid’s. Not an easy task.

St Brigid make it back to the Connacht final

A fan watches on as the St. Brigid's team take to the pitch Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

For the eighth time in 12 years, St Brigid’s will contest the Connacht final. It’s quite the record for the Kiltoom club. Between 1970 and 2004, they managed to win just one county title (1997), but the last decade has brought about unprecedented success.

While the team isn’t quite as strong as the side who enjoyed that remarkable St Patrick’s Day success over Ballymun in 2013, this group of players posess a very important quality – they’re winners. Veterans like Karol Mannion, Ian Kilbride and Senan Kilbride continue to drive this team on.

The four-time Connacht champions haven’t lifted the provincial title since 2012, but they’ll relish the tag of underdogs in the final against Corofin.

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Unwanted history for the O’Rourkes as Rhode move a step closer

Father and son were both sent-off for Simonstown Gaels as their interest in Leinster was ended by Rhode at the quarter-final stage. Colm O’Rourke was sent to the stand in the first half, while midfielder Shane was dismissed for two yellows on 39 minutes.

“It’s not the sort of history I would like,” Colm said afterwards. They lost out to Rhode, who are 60 minutes away from sealing a fifth Leinster final in their history. They’ve been beaten in four provincial finals since 2006:

Rhode’s Leinster finals
2006: Moorefield 3-6 Rhode 0-8
2008: Kilmacud Crokes 2-7 Rhode 1-7
2010: Kilmacud Crokes 0-15 Rhode 1-7
2014: St Vincent’s 1-13 Rhode 0-6

Former Offaly star Paschal Kelleghan played in all four of those defeats and is now manager of The Village. No doubt he’ll be hoping to make it a case of fifth time lucky.

Before any Leinster final, they’ve got a last four clash with Sean O’Mahony’s to negotiate. St Vincent’s will play Mullinalaghta in the other semi-final.

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Slaughtneil still on course for historic Ulster senior double with Down’s Kilcoo their final hurdle

Rhode, O’Mahony’s and Mullinalaghta seal places in Leinster football last four

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