Corinthians host Our Lady’s Boys Club on Sunday in the 1.00pm Ard na Cregg final.

While Boys Club go in as favourites, Corinthians have the luxury of depth to call on for this second-tier feature fixture, and having narrowly-avoided Second XV Junior 1A relegation will seek some silverware to summer on the N17.

Boys Club, by contrast, have tasted post-Easter success this winter already, the club’s premier junior side a dead cert for All-Ireland Junior Cup entry later in the year and deserved Cawley Cup victors in March. The seconds have been the Junior2 grade’s most consistent performer this winter and must be odds-on favourite. That said, the head-to-head record sings a different tune altogether.

While undefeated in regular league play this year, Boys Club took a sound drubbing at Tuam’s hands in the J2 League final, and were held even by Tuam mid-season and, as irony would have it, Corinthians as well 10-10.

Corinthians’ regular season does not make for pretty reading, one loss from one on debut, that streak continued without success until week six beating J2 newcomers Oughterard, but finished with further wins over Castlebar and Ballinasloe.

Again, the fact they are in the final and at home, should ring alarm bells for anyone with OLBC allegiance.

Corinthians outscored Boys Club by a point on season aggregate, (126 to 125) but leaked a disproportionate amount of points over their line (104 to a miserly 36). It will be this defensive record which will boost confidence for midfield skipper Killian O’Brien and co in white jerseys after Mass on Sunday.

Eleven games in regular season play for 36 points against is little more than a penalty kick per game. Mathematics dictates that with a defensive record like that, OLBC need not post a rake of points but simply sneak ahead, and stay there.

Whether that plays out according to recent history will become apparent about half-past two on Sunday.

Corinthians drew handily prior to the April 8 competition opener, locking in a spot against the Tuam v Ballina preliminary qualifier. Tuam ghosted through that one, but faltered at the next hurdle, 3-18 down to Sunday’s finalists. Corinthians put paid to Buccaneers 25-9 clear and secured a berth for season honours.

Lady Luck baked a tasty batch for OLBC too drawing the Castlebar/Galwegians preliminary winner at the quarter-final stage, albeit away from the Sportsground. She took a further shine to them in the semi-final, which they lost on one board but won in another. Ten-points shy of Galwegians at Glenina on the scoreboard, two ineligible players cost ‘Wegians early the next week in the boardroom and OLBC advanced at their expense.

Referee Conor Wynne has the whistle for the lunchtime local derby (on at the same time as the Senior final at the Sportsground), ably-backed by collegues Seamus Phillips and Pete McCarthy.

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