And then there were four and a place in the All-Ireland Senior Club Football Final in Croke Park on St. Patrick’s Day is at stake tomorrow afternoon as the All-Ireland semi-finals take place.
Longford club Mullinalaghta captured the hearts and minds of everyone when against the odds they defeated Kilmacud Crokes in the Leinster Final to become the first club from the Midlands County to win a provincial title.
The North Longford parish has a population of about 450 and on Saturday they face Killarney side Dr. Crokes. The Kerry Champions have won Munster 8 times and the All-Ireland title twice; their last one came two years ago.
Mullinalaghta’s story is remarkable. In 2016 they won the Longford Senior Football title for the first time in 66 years. Last year they claim their third county title in a row and have been unbeaten in the Longford championship over the last three years.
The talk is that Mullinalaghta are in ‘bonus territory’ but they’ll go into that game not wanting to make up the numbers. They are one game away from history and they will certainly not be found wanting in Semple Stadium.
The pressure is on Dr. Crokes admitted Kerry captain Amanda Brosnan who is a member of the famous Kerry club.
In Carrick on Shannon reigning All-Ireland champions Corofin take on Gweedore. The Donegal side were impressive as they claimed their first Ulster Championship title. They will be buoyed up by those performances as they look to dethrone the champions.
Gweedore have the players to trouble Corofin and book their place in an All-Ireland Final but the Galway side can draw on experience; they know what it takes to win semi-finals.
Will the two underdogs come through and make it a unique occasion in Croke Park next month, will the experienced sides come through tough tests or will one underdog create an upset? Those questions will be answered at about 5pm tomorrow.