Tesco Homegrown All-Ireland senior ladies club football final
A gripping rivalry between Donaghmoyne and Carnacon will be renewed in Carrick-on-Shannon on Sunday afternoon, when the clubs go head to head in the Tesco Homegrown All-Ireland senior ladies club football final.
Holders Donaghmoyne, gearing up for a fifth final, won the corresponding fixture between the club heavyweights last year.
The Monaghan and Ulster champions have won the All-Ireland title on three occasions but have never won back-to-back titles.
That’s the aim but Carnacon, four-time All-Ireland winners, will not want to lose a second successive final.
The Páirc Seán MacDiarmada clash has been billed as a shootout between Mayo and Carnacon’s nine-time Allstar Cora Staunton and Donaghmoyne’s Monaghan ace Cathriona McConnell.
But both sides can boast a host of other intercounty stars in their ranks.
Carnacon, who won the All-Ireland two years ago, can call upon Mayo players Martha Carter, Fiona McHale and Noelle Tierney, among others.
Experienced pair Amanda Casey and Sharon Courtney are among the other Donaghmoyne panellists also involved in the Monaghan set-up.
12 months ago, Donaghmoyne restricted Staunton to just a point from play and if the lethal Mayo forward can be contained again, Donaghmoyne will create history by retaining the Dolores Tyrrell memorial cup.
TESCO Homegrown All-Ireland junior ladies club football final
Dunedin Connolly’s (Edinburgh) v Na Gaeil (Kerry)
Dunedin are chasing a unique double, having become the first Scottish club to win the all-Britain championship in September.
It has been a landmark season for Dunedin, as the club also won the junior section of the Páidí Ó’Sé tournament in Kerry.
Since winning the British championship, Dunedin saw off Shane O’Neill’s of Armagh in the All-Ireland quarter-final and St. Helen’s of Longford in the semi-final.
But Dunedin won’t have faced anything like the sheer talent that is Na Gaeil’s Kerry All Star Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh.
And while Dunedin have developed a penchant for scoring goals, they’re also capable of leaking a big score at the other end.
Na Gaeil hammered Shannon Gaels of Roscommon by 4-17 to 0-5 in their All-Ireland semi-final and they should do enough to lift national silverware on Saturday afternoon.
Verdict: Na Gaeil.
TESCO Homegrown All-Ireland intermediate ladies club football final
Claregalway (Galway) v Thomas Davis (Dublin)
It’s just a year since Thomas Davis were crowned All-Ireland junior champions but further silverware beckons for the Dublin standard-bearers in Saturday afternoon’s intermediate decider.
Thomas Davis have adapted brilliantly to the step-up to the intermediate grade and they showed ominous form during the course of their semi-final victory over Glen of Derry.
Thomas Davis ran out 3-15 to 0-5 winners against their Ulster opponents but they’re coming up against battle-hardened Claregalway, the reigning Galway and Connacht champions.
Claregalway, with a sprinkling of Galway’s All-Ireland minor A winners in their ranks, beat Clonbur to win the county final.
Victories over Glencar/Manorhamilton and Tourlestrane saw them crowned provincial champions before they defeated Boherbue (last year’s beaten All-Ireland junior finalists) in the All-Ireland semi-final.
This game is expected to a closely contested affair but with county senior star Siobhán McGrath pulling the strings for Thomas Davis, the Dubliners get the nod.
Verdict: Thomas Davis.