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TG4 Ladies Gaelic Football team news

Updated: Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 16:16 | Comments

Denise Masterson returns for Dublin in time to face Kerry
Denise Masterson returns for Dublin in time to face Kerry

Dublin v Kerry, Birr, 12:30pm
Dublin cruised through the Leinster Championship without exerting a huge amount of effort but they now face a big step up in class when they face the 2012 TG4 All Ireland Finalists, Kerry. 

It has been a hugely positive year for Dublin to date under the guidance of new manager, Gregory McGonigle as they reached their first ever Division One final and clinched their third Leinster title in a row as well as winning the Aisling McGing Under 21 title.

They should also benefit from the return to fitness of Siobhan McGrath, Denise Masterson and Sinead Goldrick.

Dublin's real strength to date has been their inside forward trio of Lyndsey Davey, Sinead Aherne and Lindsay Peat who have all been in free scoring form but it will be interesting to see how they cope with a Kerry team that will be expected to line out with a defensive gameplan.

Dublin will be attempting to progress past the quarter final stage for the first time since 2010 and will need to avoid the collapses that have been their downfall at this stage in the past couple of years.

Kerry were the team of the League up until failing to their old rivals, Cork in the semi finals and the same team dethroned them in Munster in a one sided provincial decider a little later in the Summer.

They got their campaign back on track after victory over Donegal in Round 2 but the manner of that victory will give William O'Sullivan plenty to worry about as they required extra time to dispose of a team that they were expected to overcome with little difficulty.

Donegal, were in excellent form that day and proved that they have plenty to look forward to in the future and Kerry will now know that they have to improve on that performance against one of the championship favourites.

The return of Louise Ní Muircheartaigh is a massive boost to the Kingdom as she is a superb player and fellow All Star, Sarah Houlihan will be looking forward to rekindling their attacking partnership.

Bernie Breen is the driving force for this team and her partnership in midfield with Emma Sherwood could be key. Kerry are very strong at the back where they are lead by Cáit Lynch who will be keen to limit time and space to Dublin's strong forwards.

Galway v Monaghan, Birr, 2:15pm
Galway have been there or thereabouts for the past number of years and are still yet to shake off the label of dark horse and progress to the top tier of the game.

Saturday marks the opportunity for them to gain revenge for defeat to Monaghan at the semi-final stage last year but also to make a statement of intent for the rest of the season.

The Tribeswomen are flying high at underage level having claimed their second minor title in a row this year and three of that team have already progressed into the senior ranks with Nicola Ward, Louise Ward and Olivia Divilly all expected to make a big impact.

With Emer Flaherty and Sinead Burke marshalling the defence and Annette Clarke along with Ger Conneally lining out in midfield Kevin Reidy's side do have the right mix of youth and experience to give them plenty of optimism heading to Birr.

Monaghan have consistently been one of the top teams in the country for the past decade and will feel that they should already have secured an All-Ireland title.

Monaghan will be driven by the hurt of those defeats, mainly at the hands of Cork, and will not lack in motivation going into this encounter.

A look at the Monaghan squad reveals the strength of their team with All Stars in every line from Linda Martin right through to Ciara McAnespie.

However, the Northerners have struggled this season as they lost the Ulster title for the first time in 5 years and were made work hard for victory versus Tyrone but John Morrison will point to the similar difficulties endured by Cork on their way to All Ireland victory at the same stage last year.

A half-back line of Gráinne McNally, Sharon Courtney and Aoife McAnespie is fantastically strong as is their expected inside forward line of Cathriona McConnell, Niamh Kindlon and Ciara McAnespie.

The meeting of Amanda Casey with Galway stalwart Annette Clarke will be fascinating as will the role of Cora Courtney who can play in numerous positions.

However, the ace in the Monaghan pack might be on the bench where returning star, Caoimhe Mohan is expected to be named along with Eileen McElroy and both could have a huge bearing on the result.

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