It’s D-Day In Leinster And Ulster With Provincial Titles On The Line
Compiled by Jackie Cahill
IT’S D-Day in Leinster and Ulster on Sunday – with Provincial titles to be handed out in both provinces.
And it’s very much a ‘Super Sunday’ for the LGFA – with FOUR games getting the Facebook Live treatment.
Commentator Jerome Quinn will be at Netwatch Cullen Park for all three of the Leinster Finals, in the junior, intermediate and senior grades.
He’ll be joined by Laois native Niamh Dunne for Carlow v Louth in the Junior decider at 12pm, and by Dublin’s 2010 All-Ireland Senior Championship winning captain Denise Masterson for the Intermediate Final between Meath and Wexford at 2pm.
Both of those games will be available to view on the Leinster LGFA Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/LeinsterLadiesGaelicFootballAssociation/
At 4pm, Dublin will aim for an eighth successive Leinster Senior title, when they battle it out with Westmeath.
Waterford star Michelle Ryan will be on co-commentary for that game, as Dublin and Westmeath lock horns in the Leinster Senior Final for a fifth successive year.
Viewers can access the Senior decider via the LGFA Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/LadiesGaelicFootball/.
The LGFA Facebook Page is also the port of call for the TG4 Ulster Ladies Senior Football Championship Final between Armagh and Donegal, with commentary provided by Marcus Ó Buachalla and former Monaghan star Niamh Kindlon.
That game throws in at 3.45pm at St Tiernach’s Park in Clones, and is preceded by the Junior decider between Antrim and Fermanagh at 1.45pm.
Sunday 30th June
TG4 Leinster Junior Championship Final
Carlow v Louth; Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow, 12pm (Live on Leinster LGFA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeinsterLadiesGaelicFootballAssociation/)
Carlow are aiming for a second TG4 Leinster Junior crown in three years – and are under the shrewd guidance of former Dublin boss Gerry McGill.
The Donegal native guided Dublin to a maiden TG4 All-Ireland senior crown in 2010, and is a vastly-experienced coach who’s also had stints with the Tipperary men’s and ladies teams.
To get over the line, however, Carlow will have to dethrone holders Louth, who beat them in the 2018 decider.
Louth have been knocking on the door in the hunt for national silverware, losing out in the 2018 Lidl NFL Division 4 and TG4 All-Ireland Junior Finals.
The Wee County will be determined to hold onto their Leinster title, and provide a springboard into the All-Ireland series.
Carlow: N Hanley; N Mohan (capt.), B Nolan, A Roche; M Kinsella, O Fitzpatrick, C Mullins; E Hayden, K Clarke; E Atkinson, R Byrne, N Forde; R Sawyer, C Ní Shé, S Doyle.
Louth: U Pearson; E Hand, S Quinn, S McLoughlin; C Nolan, M McMahon, D Osborne; E Byrne, A Byrne; R Carr, S Byrne, A Russell; L Boyle, K Flood (capt.), N Rice.
TG4 Leinster Intermediate Championship Final
Meath v Wexford; Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow, 2pm (Live on Leinster LGFA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeinsterLadiesGaelicFootballAssociation/)
Meath were shocked by Wicklow at the quarter-final stage in Leinster last year – but have learned those lessons and will contest a provincial decider on Sunday.
The Royal County have enjoyed a superb campaign to date, landing the Division 3 Lidl NFL title before progressing to the Leinster Final.
Meath were runners-up in Division 3 last year but went one better this time to gain promotion to the second tier.
They were also runners-up in the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate championship, losing out to Tyrone, but they’re among the favourites for national glory in 2019.
Their Leinster Final opponents are Wexford, who got the better of Kildare at the semi-final stage.
Under Anthony Masterson’s astute guidance, Wexford have been a competitive force in recent years, and they held their own in Division 2.
But they’ll need a big performance against a Meath outfit that will join them in the same League grouping for 2020.
Meath: M McGuirk; K Newe, S Powderly, O Duff; A Cleary, S Ennis, M Thynne; M O’Shaughnessy (capt.), K Byrne; A Leahy, E Duggan, O Byrne; E White, K Nesbitt, V Wall.
Wexford: M.R. Kelly (capt.); N Mernagh, M Cullen, A Tormey; C Donnelly, S Murphy, S Harding Kenny; K Kearney, B Breen; N Butler, C Foxe, N Moore; K White, M Byrne, T Doyle.
TG4 Leinster Senior Championship Final
Dublin v Westmeath; Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow, 4pm (Live on LGFA Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/LadiesGaelicFootball/)
On the face of it, this should be straightforward for Dublin.
It’s the fifth season in a row that the Sky Blues have met Westmeath in a TG4 Leinster Senior Final – and they’ve come out on top on each occasion.
Dublin are gunning for an eighth successive Leinster crown and their winning margins against Westmeath in Finals have been seven points in 2015, 28 a year later, 19 in 2017, and 12 last year.
That would suggest another comfortable win for Dublin but Westmeath have been making the right noises ahead of this latest encounter, and have vowed to be competitive.
Not much has separated the teams in League outings this year and in 2018, with Dublin winning by just five points last March, and five last year.
A victory for Westmeath would send shockwaves throughout the championship, and Dubs boss Mick Bohan is keen to avoid an upset as he’s named 11 of the team that started in last September’s All-Ireland Final.
Three of the changes are enforced, with Sinead Finnegan and Carla Rowe both out injured, while Leah Caffrey is away in Canada.
Westmeath haven’t played a game since early April, when they ended their Lidl NFL Division 1 campaign on a high with victory over Tipperary.
That capped a successful League campaign for Westmeath, as Sean Finnegan’s Lake County stayed in the top flight.
Dublin, the 2018 League champions, suffered extra-time defeat against Cork at the semi-final stage, and will target a return to winning ways.
Dublin: C Trant; M Byrne, N Collins, R Ruddy; A Kane, S Goldrick, L Magee; O Carey, S McGrath; N Owens, N McEvoy, J Dunne; S Aherne (capt.), N Hetherton, N Healy.
Westmeath: L McCormack; R Dillon, J Rogers, L Power; K Boyce Jordan, F Claffey (capt.), K McDermott; J Maher, M.A. Foley; V Carr, S Dolan, L McCartan; A Dolan, A Jones, K Hegarty.
TG4 Ulster Junior Championship Final
Antrim v Fermanagh; St Tiernach’s Park, Clones, 1.45pm
Fermanagh are aiming to make it 4/4 against Antrim in 2019 – and land the TG4 Ulster Junior crown.
Fermanagh won out against the Saffrons in two League outings, including the Lidl Division 4 decider, and in the first round of the championship.
Victory for Fermanagh sent them through to the Ulster Final, while Antrim had a second chance against Derry.
They took it, to dethrone the 2018 champions, and will now hope for revenge against a Fermanagh side that will start as favourites.
There are match-winners on both sides but Antrim will be particularly keen to put the shackles on Fermanagh’s lethal attacker Eimear Smyth.
Antrim: A McCann; N Killen, M Hanna, O Ní Chorra; K Farren, A McFarland, S Tennyson (capt.); C Brown, L Dahunsi; C Taggart, M McCurdy, S Haughey; M Cooper, N Enright, C Carey.
Fermanagh: R Gleeson; A Maguire, E Murphy, M Flynn; M McGloin, A McGovern, S McQuaid; R O’Reilly, A Flanagan; J Doonan (capt.), N Connolly, D Maguire; L Maguire, E Smyth, A O’Brien.
TG4 Ulster Senior Championship Final
Armagh v Donegal; St Tiernach’s Park, Clones, 3.45pm (Live on LGFA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LadiesGaelicFootball/)
This could be redemption day for Armagh – or a third successive TG4 Ulster Senior title win for Donegal.
Armagh won’t need reminding that when they met Donegal in the 2018 Final, they found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-8 to 9-21 thumping.
But the sides would meet again later in the 2018 championship, at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage, and just three points separated them then.
There’s a quiet confidence in the Armagh camp ahead of this latest encounter, following an impressive semi-final victory against Monaghan.
Donegal, meanwhile, needed extra-time before seeing off Cavan and Armagh may have seem some chinks in the champions’ armour that they can expose.
The memories of Ulster Final day in 2018 will fuel the Armagh challenge and they certainly won’t lack in motivation and hunger.
Armagh were last crowned Ulster champions back in 2014 – and it wouldn’t surprise many observers if they bridged a five-year gap.
Ace forward Aimee Mackin is named on the bench for Armagh, while Donegal sharpshooter Geraldine McLaughlin, who bagged 14 points against Cavan, is a player the Orchard County must shut down to have a chance.
Armagh: C O’Hare; S Marley, C Morgan (capt.), R O’Reilly; C McKenna, C McCambridge, T Grimes; N Coleman, C O’Hanlon; M Moriarty, A McCoy, K Mallon; A Donaldson, B Mackin, N Reel.
Donegal: A McColgan; T Doherty, E Gallagher, N McLaughlin; N Carr, D Foley, A.M. McGlynn; K Herron, E McGinley; K Guthrie (capt.), K Keeney, A Boyle Carr; R Friel, G McLaughlin, S McGroddy.