Can the Dubs deliver??? Or will Mayo make it 4???

Ladies football TG4 All-Ireland finals.
Can the Dubs deliver??? Or will Mayo make it 4???

Sunday the 5th of October is the blue riband day for ladies
football in Ireland when the Junior Ladies and Senior ladies
finals take place at Croke Park. One thing seems certain
is that all previous attendance records will be broken for
the attractive pairings. Last year the attendance surpassed
all expectations and such a crowd turned up near to throw
in time in the senior game that the gates were opened. A
conservative estimate would put the crowd in excess of 30,000.
Given that scenario on the 5th then we can expect 40,000

Kildare have been waiting in the wilderness for a number
of years and many believe this is their year. They have
a very balanced team with strong backs and forwards that
can score, as they proved in the Semi-final in their big
win over Tipperary.

Donegal still believe that they underachieved last year
when the lost out in the final to Galway after being well
in contention up to the break. Subsequent events have shown
that this was an exceptionally strong Galway team,who could
well be playing in the Senior final, if they had taken their
chances against Mayo in the semi-final. Kildare did very
well in Div 2 of the Suzuki National league before going
under in the Semi-final to eventual winners Cork.

Donegal got over their semi-final with relative ease against
Sligo. A cracking game is in store, so the call is come
early to avoid disappointment.

Dublin support.

Dublin are renowned for supporting their own especially
when they are at home in Croke Park and the manner in which
they defeated Kerry marks their ladies team out as very
creditable challengers. They play an open attractive game
with their forte working the ball well out of defence, with
a sense of purpose, before despatching it to their forwards,
mostly through their inspirational midfielder Angie McNallly.
She was a tower of strength in the Semi as were the half
back line, of Niamh Hurley, Martina Farrell, and Orla Colreavy,
whether they will be allowed the same latitude against Mayo
is highly unlikely.

What of Mayo? Anybody watching both teams for the the first
time at Portlaoise in the Semis would have gone away with
the conviction from what they saw that day, that Dublin
were unbeatable. Mayo are in their 5th final in a row with
very few changes in personnel in their panel. Indeed but
for their infamous slip up against Laois 2 years ago they
would be bidding for 5 in a row. They proved their resilience
and heart by coming back from that set back, especially
Cora Staunton whose pick up inside the 21 conceded the match
winning point to Laois.

She is their lynchpin and is virtually unmarkable as she
roams all over the field for the full duration of the game.
She has gone through her share of injuries in the past year
and has been playing with a heavily strapped knee. If she
is not able to play for the full game or is limited in any
way Dublin will certainly have a better chance. Last year
in the Semi final lack of belief in themselves and lack
of scoring power cost them dearly. This year Gemma Faye
and her colleagues have grown in confidence. They will be
up against a teak tough defence well marshalled by keeper
Denise Horan and strong down the middle with capt Helena
Lohan at fullback, Yvonne Byrne, at centre, Claire Egan
at midfield with the Heffernan sisters, Marcella and Christine
doing the donkey work, for Cora to put the necessary scores
on the board.

Mayo struggled big time against Galway and were fortunate
to take the game in to extra time, perhaps it was the wake
up call they needed. We hope that the final will not become
a pulling and dragging affair and that Dublin will continue
with their attractive football that bought them thus far.
Mayo can play open attractive football as well and if they
do which we all hope they will, we will have a classic,
that could very well end in a draw. The country will be
watching and waiting, but what better place to watch than
at Croke Park itself. Both games will be broadcast live
by the sponsors TG4.

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