Thursday 17 October 2019

Crokes star White expects 'high-scoring' Corofin clash

White: "Being a defender it’s massive challenge for us to try and keep Corofin’s score down as low as possible." Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

It was only his second season with Dr Crokes but Gavin White can remember the pressure that his more established team-mates carried into the 2017 All-All-Ireland semi-final against Corofin.

It was before White's time with the senior squad but for three years in a row, the Killarney club had fallen at the penultimate stage to Crossmaglen, Ballymun and Castlebar.

And as they squared off against the Galway kingpins, who they face again in the All-Ireland final on Sunday, White could feel the pressure in the dressing room.

"For the fellas in the team that lost those games it would have been particularly big," he remembered.

"For Gooch, having done his cruciate in the last semi final, Johnny Buckley, Dáithí Casey, Brian Looney I could keep naming them, they lost so many All-Ireland semi-finals and it was really hurting them. It was a relief to get over that one. 

"The only memory I have is having a white bandage wrapped around my head," he continued. "I got a bit of a knock in the first half. I remember going into that game and it was a new situation for me as it was my first All-Ireland semi-final. It was new ground for me going up against clubs from outside Munster and Kerry and seeing what they'd bring."

Last month, Dr Crokes were ruthless when they saw off Mullinalaghta despite being reduced to 14 men early in the game.

"When we went down to 14 men a lot of fellas were looked at in terms of, 'Do they have the bottle to step up to the plate and take leadership and drive on?' I wasn't the only one that did (drive it on) that day, there were numerous players who stood up to the plate and played above their normal level I suppose.

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"The one that sticks out to me is David Shaw, he has only played a handful of senior club games for Crokes and for him to come out to midfield in such a big game and to play as well as he did is a credit to him, a credit to his own personality. Everyone kind of stood up to the plate that day."

And given the performances of both teams in the championship, Sunday's decider is expected to be an open game.

"I don't think there will be any surprise if it is a high-scoring game, both of us are fairly attacking from all corners of the pitch. Being a defender it's massive challenge for us to try and keep Corofin's score down as low as possible.

"It's a massive challenge, marking some of those Corofin players. They have they can seriously hurt you if you are not on your game, especially in Croke Park. But we're up for the challenge and hopefully we can keep it down as low as we can."

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