/ GAA

Preview: Ladies football championship

Updated: Friday, 20 Jun 2014 15:49 | Comments

Valerie Mulcahy will be a crucial figure for Cork
Valerie Mulcahy will be a crucial figure for Cork

FRIDAY, 20 JUNE

TG4 Munster SFC Round 1
Cork v Clare, Mourneabbey, 7.30pm

Cork face the unusual situation of entering the Munster Championship without being the defending provincial champions.

However, Eamonn Ryan will have a confident side to call from having recently captured the TESCO Homegrown Division 1 title and discovering some great new talent on the way.

The likes of Roisin Phelan and Vera Foley seem to have nailed down places for themselves, and Eimear Scally and Emma Farmer have added to the attacking options. As usual there is vast experience in the Rebel ranks with Angela Walsh, Bríd Stack, Deirdre O’Reilly, Geraldine O’Flynn, Annie Walsh, Valerie Mulcahy and team captain Briege Corkery amongst the household names.

Clare will look to build on a reasonable league campaign but there is some real talent in their ranks, especially players like Louise Henchy, Niamh O’Dea and Eimear Considine. However, the Banner know that there is a mountain to climb if they are to overcome their great rivals.

SATURDAY, 21 JUNE

TG4 Ulster SFC semi-final
Monaghan v Cavan, Crossmaglen, 4pm

Monaghan are under new management this year, John Morrison entering his debut championship with last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists. Monaghan lost out to Dublin the Division 1 semi-final but it was an injury hit squad that took the field that day.

Niamh Kindlon has made a return to form up front and she will be supported by some really talented players like Ciara McAnespie, Cathriona McConnell and Ellen McCarron but the loss of Caoimhe Mohan will be a blow to their chances.

It will be interesting to see how Cavan perform this year after earning promotion to the senior ranks via All-Ireland intermediate glory last year. The feeling is that Cavan are a coming team with plenty of underage talent on which to call.

However, it will be players like Gráinne McGlade, Donna English and Gráinne Smith that must lead their young team-mates against this huge challenge.

SUNDAY, 22 JUNE

TG4 Leinster Senior Football Championship Preliminary Round
Kildare v Dublin, Enfield, 2pm

Kildare have a habit of springing surprises on Dublin and manager, John Divilly, will be hoping that this is again the case. They couldn’t have got a tougher draw but with players like Aisling Holton they will retain plenty of hope.

Dublin are seeking their third Leinster title in a row and begin their campaign to retain their title as overwhelming favourites.

There is plenty of cause for hope in the Dublin camp as they reached the Division 1 final for the first time ever and their under-21s claimed the Aisling McGing title last weekend.

They are a team littered with stars like Sinead Finnegan, Siobhan McGrath, Carla Rowe, Noelle Healy and their potent full-forward line of Lyndsey Davey, Sinead Aherne and Lindsay Peat.

However, inspirational captain, Sinead Goldrick will miss the game through injury but there should be plenty in reserve for the defending champions. Westmeath await the winner in the semi-final.

TG4 Ulster SFC semi-final

Donegal v Armagh, Lisnaskea, 5pm

Donegal endured a very difficult Division 1 campaign in which they finished bottom of the table and were relegated. However, they were unlucky in many cases as they produced some excellent performances in defeat.

Armagh finally claimed promotion from Division 3 of the League and have since gone on to produce a big performance to defeat Tyrone easily in the previous round of the Ulster Championship. In Caroline O’Hanlon they have one of the best footballers in the country, but in truth they are packed full of talent with players like Fionnuala McKenna and Sinead McCleary making them formidable opponents.

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