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St Galls more than happy to wait for delayed semi final

By Micheal McGeary

The GAA will meet this afternoon to decide on a new date for the St. Galls and Corofin All Ireland club football semi-final.

The match was called off yesterday morning as the Parnell Park pitch was frozen.

Traditionally both the All Ireland club football and hurling finals are played as a double header at Croke Park on St.Patrick’s Day so everything points to the postponed game going ahead on either Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

St. Galls manager Lenny Harbinson was philosophical on hearing of the postponement, which didn’t come as a major surprise.

“We all met up in the club yesterday morning and already we were getting texts and messages from some of our people, already in Dublin, telling us of the heavy overnight snow,” he said.

“We then got word around nine o’clock letting us know early so that supporters didn’t have a wasted journey.

“It’s a wee bit disappointing but, having said that the additional week won’t do us any harm as we have a few injuries and nine of our squad played in an All Ireland hurling final only last weekend.”

Harbinson, who enjoyed Ulster club success with St. Galls in the early 80s, also revealed he still hadn’t finalised his team when news of the postponement came through.

“Most club teams in Ireland will know their first 11 or 12 players, but there’s always question marks over the remaining three or four places. We’ve a reasonably decent bench so it’s good to keep everyone on their toes.

“We’ll just pick ourselves up again, refocus on the rearranged game and move on from there.”

Meanwhile, Clare champions Kilmurry-Ibrickan defied the odds to book their place in the AIB All Ireland club football decider with a 1-14 to 0-08 victory over Portlaoise.

But the match ended in controversy with referee Michael Duffy of Sligo being mobbed by Portlaoise fans and players after dismissing two Portlaoise players.

The losers had entered this game as overwhelming favourites, but then lost their way and appalling discipline let them down.

They lost Brian Mulligan in the first minute after a high challenge and midfielder and captain Brian McCormack then followed in the second half after picking up a second yellow card,

It shouldn’t detract from a wonderful display by the winners, however. Ahead 0-10 to 0-4 there was no stopping them on the restart and the only goal of the match, from corner forward Noel Downes, was the icing on the cake.

Portlaoise officials claimed afterwards an inordinate amount of 50-50 calls had gone against them, but the reality is they contributed greatly to their own downfall.

On paper their team read like a who’s who of Laois football, but for the most part they were rendered virtually anonymous by an uncompromising and resolute opposing defence that had conceded an average of five points going into this game.

Both St. Galls and Corofin can’t say they haven’t been warned.

Belfast Telegraph

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