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Previews: Ladies football championship

Updated: Friday, 04 Jul 2014 13:19 | Comments

Monaghan will be hoping to seal Ulster glory on Sunday
Monaghan will be hoping to seal Ulster glory on Sunday

Sunday, 6 July

Ulster Ladies SFC final
Monaghan v Armagh, Clones, 1.30pm

Monaghan are aiming to collect their fifth Ulster title in a row when they face Armagh in Clones.

Much has changed in Monaghan since last season, with John Morrison taking over from Gregory McGonigle as manager.

Monaghan have an injury worry over Eileen McElroy, who has been struggling, and they will also be without Laura McEnaney, Eileen McKenna and All Star forward Caoimhe Mohan, who are all unavailable.

However, there is a depth of talent and experience available: players such as Christina Reilly, the McNally sisters, the Courtneys, Niamh Kindlon, Cathriona McConnall and Amanda Casey all hold All Star awards.

Morrison has also introduced plenty of youth into the squad. The likes of Eimear O'Rourke, Niamh Callan and Muireann Atkinson are all ready to make an impact at senior level.

Armagh have enjoyed good times in recent years and were finally able to get the Division 3 monkey off their backs as they achieved promotion in May.

There is loads of quality in this Armagh side, too, with players such as Sinead McCleary, Caoimhe Morgan, Mags McAlinden and Kelly Mallon in their ranks.

There will be a big reliance on young gun Fionnuala McKenna to provide the scores from play and frees.

Caroline O’Hanlon is their marquee player, with the midfielder considered to be among the best players in the country over the past decade. She will set the tempo for this Armagh side.

Connacht Ladies SFC final
Galway v Mayo, Elvery’s McHale Park, 3.30pm

Mayo will be hoping to break Galway’s recent dominance in Connacht when the two sides meet at Elvery’s McHale Park.

Mayo have been defeated by their great rivals in the last two finals, but will be hoping that this is the year to break their dominance.

Mayo have a star-studded line-up to call on with the likes of Noelle Tierney, Martha Carter, Claire Egan, Fiona McHale and, of course, Cora Staunton.

Galway’s preparations have been rocked by the withdrawal of manager Barry Downey for personal reasons, but in former Mayo manager Kevin Reidy they have an ideal interim manager to step into the breach.

This is a Galway side brimming with confidence following achieving promotion from Division 2 of the TESCO Homegrown National Football League.

Players such as Emer Flaherty, Sinead Burke, Annette Clarke, Geraldine Connealy, Aoibeann Daly and Lorna Joyce will provide the experience, while young guns Nicola and Louise Ward, Barbara Hannon and Roisin Leonard can provide real flair to the defending champions.

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