16 November 2023
~1 minutes read
Corofin v Ballina Stephenites – Connacht semi-final preview
The county champions of Galway and Mayo go head-to-head on Saturday afternoon in the semi-finals of the Connacht Senior Club Football Championship, when Corofin and Ballina Stephenites meet for the first time in 25 years. That 1998 meeting is still talked about, as then All-Ireland champions Corofin surrendered their crown in Ballina after a replay that took place 24 hours after a drawn match that was also played at the Mayo venue. Ballina would go on to lose the All-Ireland final to Crossmaglen by a single point (0-9 to 0-8) the following March but made amends six years later in 2005 when they beat Portlaoise by a point (1-12 to 2-8) to win their one and only All-Ireland title. Corofin eventually made their county and provincial dominance count at national level in 2015 when they landed their second All-Ireland title with victory over Slaughtneil, and that was followed by an unprecedented 3-in-a-row of titles in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to leave the Galway club third in the all-time roll of honour behind Nemo Rangers (7) and Crossmaglen (6).
Ahead of Saturday’s meeting in Pearse Stadium, Darren Kelly caught up with Corofin manager Kevin Johnson…