BATTLE COMMENCES TONIGHT FOR CHAMPIONSHIP HONOURS

It’s a huge night tonight for clubs around the county as the 2017 New Ireland Assurance Dublin LGFA club championship gets underway with the opening round of fixtures taking place in both the senior and junior A competitions.

Reigning Dublin senior and Leinster champions Foxrock Cabinteely have a bye in the first round and will no doubt be using the opportunity to check out their opponents in group B.

Ahead of tonight’s games we preview the four senior championship games that are down for decision this evening.

Senior Championship Group A:

Kilmacud Crokes v Clanna Gael/Fontenoy

Last season’s Intermediate champions Clanna Gael Fontenoy should provide neighbouring club Kilmacud Crokes with a formidable challenge in group A. The Ringsend based club have a number of experienced players amongst their ranks who can give Crokes cause for concern.

Rebecca McDonnell, Kate McKenna, Kirsty Owens and Ella Thirroueiz will have a key role to play in this opening round contest. Although the jump from Intermediate to senior ranks can occasionally take time to adjust too.

Kilmacud Crokes at home will be quite formidable outfit with Lauren Magee, Molly Lamb, Eabha Rutledge, Julia Buckley and Aoife Kane all capable of ensuring the Stillorgan side secure an opening round victory.

Verdict: Kilmacud Crokes

Senior Championship Group A:

Na Fianna v Fingallians

Both clubs have been previous winners of this competition Na Fianna in 2014 and Fingallians in 2013. Na Fianna have gone through a transition period in the last number of seasons rebuilding a new look team which includes the likes of Leah Caffrey, Lucy Collins, Ciara Purdy and Danielle Pugh.

Fingallians have a number of both current and former County players amongst their ranks who have an abundance of experience between them. Indeed the Swords club might just be a dark horse for the title this season. Emer Ní Eafa, Sinead Finnegan, Fiona Hudson, Muireann Ní Scanaill, Emma Colgan and Niamh Rickard have the capability to guide their side to a first round victory away from home.

Verdict: Fingallians

Senior Championship Group B:

Parnell’s v St Brigids

Parnells are a young side who are taking time to adjust to top flight football. Their opposition St Brigid’s, have been runners up to Foxrock Cabinteely the last two seasons so on paper at least the girls from Coolock look to have a tough assignment ahead of them.

Siabh Hannigan, Liana Harte, Aoife McGrath and Leona Corr are all young talented footballers who will thrive playing at senior level. St Brigids will look to their key players such as Noelle Healy, Elaine Kelly, Colleen Barrett and Ciara Trant to lead the way and secure a key championship victory for the girls from Blanchardstown.

Verdict: St Brigids

Senior Championship Group B:

Thomas Davis v Ballyboden St Endas

Former County champions Ballyboden St Endas have been rebuilding steadily for last few seasons now and will be aiming for a good run in this year’s championship. The Firhouse side have a good mix of youth and experience amongst their ranks with key players being Rachel Ruddy, Sinead Burke, Emily Flanagan and Maria McGrath.

Thomas Davis have been adjusting steadily to life in the senior ranks since making the move to top flight football in 2013. Siobhan McGrath return to Dublin club football after taking some time out to travel overseas will give the Thomas Davis 2017 championship campaign a big boost. Other key players for the home side in this local derby will be Olwen Carey and Ciara McGuigan.

Verdict: Ballyboden St Endas

Below is the full list of all the Championship Fixtures for Wednesday 17th May 2017 with all games throwing in at 7:30pm.

Senior Championship Group A:

Kilmacud Crokes v Clanna Gael/Fontenoy
Ref: John Doherty
Venue: Pairc De Burca
Throw-In: 7:30pm

Na Fianna v Fingallians
Ref: Angela Gallagher
Venue: St Mobhi Road
Throw-In: 7:30pm

Senior Championship Group B:

Parnells v St Brigids
Ref: John Gallagher
Venue: Chanel
Throw-In: 7:30pm

Thomas Davis v Ballyboden St Endas
Ref: Keith Tighe
Venue: Kiltipper Road
Throw-In: 7:30pm

Junior A Championship Group A:

Portobello v Ballinteer St Johns
Ref: David Murphy
Venue: Leinster Road
Throw-In: 7:30pm

Garda/Westmanstown Gaels v O’Tooles
Ref: Robbie Glennon
Venue: Westmanstown
Throw-In: 7:30pm

Lucan Sarsfields v Cuala
Ref: Ronald Malone
Venue: 12th Lock
Throw-In: 7:30pm

Junior A Championship Group B:

Man O War v Croi Ro Naofa
Ref: Andrew McAllister
Venue: Man O War
Throw-In: 7:30pm

Round Towers (C) v St Jude’s
Ref: Laura Bourke
Venue: Clondalkin
Throw-In: 7:30pm

Naomh Barrog v Castleknock
Ref: Derek Greene
Venue: Pairc Barrog
Throw-In: 7:30pm