So Corofin got out of jail in their Galway SFC final against Tuam Stars last Sunday, writes.
Gary Sice, with two amazing points in added-time, saved their bacon. And now Corofin have a second opportunity to retain their Galway title following their draw with Tuam.
Afterwards, Tuam manager Tommy Carton expressed the opinion that his side have shown Corofin are beatable.
“Yeah it’s disappointing but we have another bite of the cherry. Our lads did very well, it was a great game of football to watch I’d say,” Carton stated. “The free at the end the two lads went for the ball and I don’t think it was a free but that happens in football. Our lads showed great character and heart. It just shows Corofin are beatable but they are a good team.”
Certainly, Tuam will have given others hope that they can stop Corofin’s quest for a third All-Ireland title in-a-row.
Even if Tuam fail to overcome Corofin in their county final replay, other clubs around the country will have noted how Carton’s men very nearly ended their relentless run of success.
Obviously, it will be extremely difficult for Tuam to head into the replay hoping that the same gameplan will do again because that is highly unlikely to be the case.
After all, every good champion learns from each outing. Corofin, given their incredible strengths, are will be no different.
Mountbellew/Moylough, of course, took Corofin to a replay in the Galway SFC final last year.
Surprise, surprise, however, Kevin O’Brien’s unit went back to the drawing board and devised a plan to hurt Mountbellew/Moylough sufficiently at the second time of asking.
They play the best football from a club team I have ever witnessed. And, as difficult a task they have before them to land a third All-Ireland title on the spin, if there is one team I have watched that would be capable of creating such history, it is definitely this Corofin outfit.
Therefore, Carton suggesting they are beatable might yet prove to be wide of the mark, for this season anyway.
Regardless, such a comment from the Tuam boss will raise eyebrows across the country in the sense other managers might be keen to get the recording of their meeting last Sunday to assess how Stars went about causing destruction among Corofin’s rearguard, for instance.
When Corofin hammered Nemo Rangers in Croke Park two years ago, I doubt a more complete footballing display had been seen in club football in recent history.
The westerners were immaculate on the day. But then, some wondered if it was the case Nemo underperformed as well.
There was probably a touch of that, but even the majority of Nemo folk accepted they have been torched by a superior unit, fairly and squarely.
And so when Corofin also destroyed Dr Crokes last March, it was much less of a surprise than it had been against Nemo, just because they had proven themselves capable of such brilliance when Larry Kavanagh’s men were in the opposing corner the year before.
And it also proved Corofin really are the real deal. Their dismantling of Nemo was no fluke as they did the same to the Kerry representatives.
For Mountbellew/Moylough and Tuam Stars to push them to county final replays alone seems like achievements in themselves.
However, it will take another monumental performance from Carton’s men to fell the giant in the second instalment.
Yet, others might argue that Tuam showed Corofin are more vulnerable now than they were in the previous two campaigns.
Are their motivation levels at the same pitch as they were en route to back-to-back All-Irelands? Has that extra 5% been eroded due to their success?
We will really only find that out if they overcome Tuam and face into another Connacht SFC odyssey.
If they come out of the western province again, they are due to meet the Munster champions in the All-Ireland semi-final which could be, ironically, Nemo or Dr Crokes.
That, of course, is miles down the tracks, but it is possible that such an All-Ireland semi-final fixture could come to pass, be that a Corofin-Nemo or Corofin-Dr Crokes encounter.
The way Corofin go about their business, I do not think any true football person would begrudge them making such history by winning the All-Ireland again.
That is simply due to the fact they play the game the way it should be played. In fact, implementing an expansive footballing approach is the culture they operate throughout their club.
All their teams from the underage groups right up to the adult teams try to play the same way, the right way, ideally, a point Liam Silke referenced earlier on this year.
“Right now Corofin want all of their teams to play the same style of football through the ranks: a brand, if you like,” explained Silke. “One hop pass into space and try and feed the full-forward line.”
Therefore, their consistency and footballing philosophy should be applauded.
Tuam will be keen to create their own history when the sides meet again.
However, nobody would back against Corofin retaining their county title once more as they will stick to their principles and implement them, and more likely to implement them better than they did last Sunday.