All Ireland Senior Championship 2nd round qualifier's

All Ireland
Senior Championship
2nd round qualifier’s

Laois v Mayo
Venue: Pearse Park.
Throw-in: 6 pm.
Referee:Keith Delahunty (Tipperary).
Game will be shown live on TG4.
Laois take on Mayo in their second round qualifier in Pearse Park, Longford on Saturday next, and hopefully mother nature will turn the taps off for this weekends important clash.
Laois and Mayo are no strangers to each other, back in March they lined out in the Bord Gáis Energy NFL, and on that occasion they shared the spoils, 1-12 apiece.
But they say that championship football is a different ball game, Mayo will be hurting after losing the Connacht championship, and losing out to Monaghan (1-2 to 2-16) at the semi final stage in last years TG4 all Ireland senior championship, while Laois will be determined to progress to this years quarter finals, after Galway escorted them to the exit door in last years second round game.
Although the O’Moore team are at full strength and playing excellent football, with Aileen O’Loughlin, Lorraine Muckian, Treacy Lawlor, Mary Kirwan and Angela casey all in top form, there is a positive buzz around the Laois camp, however they cannot afford to take their eye off the ball for the full sixty minutes, in particular the Laois back line who will come under intense pressure from the big guns in the Mayo forward line, on Saturday next.

Meath v Kerry
Saturday 8th August ’09
Venue: Nenagh.
Throw in: 7pm
Referee; Eugene O Hare (Down).
On Sunday next Meath will take on Kerry in Nenagh in round two of the TG4 all Ireland senior championship, the Royals remain on track after disposing of the Orchard County (1-13 to 0-9) in their first round game.
On paper, Kerry would appear to be one of the ‘easier’ teams that Meath could draw, if there is such a choice in championship football, but given that the Royals could have faced last years beaten finalists, Monaghan or 2007’s finalists Mayo, Brendan Dardis and company will be happy enough to face the Kingdom.
However, Dardis will be treating Kerry with caution. On the 4th July last, the Kingdom were dumped out of the Munster Final courtesy of Cork in ruthless fashion, the Rebels winning on a 6-15 to 0-09 score line.
Kerry has not played a competitive game since this, and will no doubt be hoping to make amends. On the other hand, Meath are in the groove, after a good result against Armagh and are determined to cause a second upset this summer.
The Royals will be looking to their big players this weekend, the St. Ultans quintet of Geraldine Doherty, Katie O’Brien, Shauna Bennett, Elaine Duffy and Aimee Bennett were arguably Meath’s best players against Armagh and will be crucial of the Royals are to book their place in the All Ireland Quarter Finals.
. Dardis has introduced many new players to Senior Championship, the most successful of these being Walterstown’s Áine Fagan. The sixteen year old, nicknamed ‘Little One’ by her fellow team mates has been a revelation to this year’s Senior team and has consolidated her place on the first fifteen with good displays in the Leinster semi final against Dublin and against Armagh last weekend. Undoubtedly, Fagan’s hunger has inspired the players around her, with all the defence playing well against the Orchard County. Maria Kealy was also outstanding against Armagh, and will have another difficult evening ahead of her, marking one of the Kingdom’s corner forwards, which like their male counterparts are exceptionally quick, just ask the Dubs, (men that is) if you dare…
There is no doubt that the Kingdom is on the crest of a wave at the moment, after the Kerry men gave a lesson to all “Don’t believe what you read in the papers”, However if Meath can play to their ability, for the full sixty minutes, there is no reason why the Royal Ladies can’t follow their male counterparts into the All Ireland Quarter Finals.

Kildare v Sligo
Sunday 9th August ’09
Venue: St Brigids, Kiltoom
Throw-in: 3pm.
Referee: Derek Byrne (Limerick)
Just as in 2008, Kildare have been drawn to play Sligo in Round 2 of the TG 4 All Ireland Championship. That game in Mullingar was the first time the Yeats County had beaten Kildare (2-9 to 2-8), in modern times, at least.
As well as the big win in the 2004 TG4 Junior All Ireland, Kildare won two meeting between the sides in 2006, the first a League game in Sligo in February which Kildare won with 3 goals to spare and the second a vital National League Semi Final with promotion to Division 1 for the winners.
The Kildare team on Sunday next will probably show 9 or 10 changes from last years defeat. Therese Martin, Julie Cunningham, Kiri Lowry, Clodagh Flanagan, Aisling Holton, Maria Moolick, Orla O’Shea, Aishling Jennings, Tracy Noone, Aoife Herbert and Deirdre Gately will all be up for selection to take on Sligo.
While a couple of last year’s players would make the team had they been available, the return of so many key players is a massive boast to this year’s team. Another factor is the addition of some of the strong 2008 minors such as Christina Newton, Joanna Timmins, Karen O’Shea and current minor Caroline Hill who impressed in both Leinster games when introduced.
Sligo had an easy win over Leitrim in Round 1 and look a solid outfit. Therese Marron who was a small 15 year old sub in 2004, when she plundered a late goal and almost got a second setting Kildare hearts fluttering in the last five minutes of the All Ireland is now a strong extremely tall full forward and they also have that year’s team captain Jackie Mulligan back after her 4 year spell, on a soccer scholarship, at a USA University while Stephannie O’Reilly seems to be totally concentrated on football after a few years of giving basketball first preference. Sligo goalkeeper Katrina Connolly is a recent All Star .
Kildare captain will be leading by example Aisling Holton , wth Maria Moolick and their midfield pairing of Brianne Leahy and Louise Keatley they should be more competitive, Aishling Jennings, Noelle Earley, Gillian Behan and Aoife Herbert are more than capable of producing enough scores to see Kildare progress to the quarter final stages.

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