The Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League Division 1 final between Cork and Monaghan forms the centrepiece of this Saturday’s triple-header in Parnell Park.
The Rebelettes are going for a fifth consecutive league win and take on the Farney ladies at 4.45pm.
Cork goalkeeper Elaine Harte says their desire to win is as strong as ever: “It’s never tough to motivate yourself for a league final, especially against a team as good as Monaghan.
“There has never been much between the sides, including in last year’s All-Ireland.
“It looks like the hunger is still there, training is going well, we’re trying to up the ante now and this will be a great match for us to make sure that we’re still there or thereabouts.”
The Division 2 final is an all-Connacht affair between Galway and Mayo (throw-in 3.00pm)
Having won four All-Ireland finals in five years at the turn of the millennium, Mayo now find themselves aiming to return to the top flight.
Mayo captain Leona Ryder said: “We were disappointed that we got knocked out of Division 1. It’s vital to be back up there playing Cork and Monaghan and the top teams so hopefully we can do the business.”
In the opening game, Martin Flanagan’s Westmeath take on Leitrim (throw-in 1.15pm).
The Lake County won last year’s All-Ireland intermediate title and will compete at senior championship level this year, and Flanagan says it is vital that they are playing Division 2 football for 2013.
He said: “With only one going up, we need to win the final. That’s where you want to be, playing the top teams.
“We were late back training, most of the teams had a head-start on us, so we didn’t know what to expect at the start.”