Galway expected to defeat Meath

Galway expected to defeat Meath

Cork and Mayo meet in eagerly anticipated Q-Final Clash


The Championship is down to the last eight and the game of the
round sees reigning TG4 All-Ireland Champions Cork take on 2003
winners Mayo this Saturday in Portlaoise.

Cork have not been beaten in competitive action this year and
look by far and away the best team in the Championship to date.
However, Mayo and Cork games have always been tight and Saturday
is likely to be the same.

Cora Staunton, arguably the finest ladies footballer of her generation,
is looking forward to the big game and sees this as an ideal place
to gain revenge for last year’s painful semi-final defeat
at the hands of the Rebels.

Staunton claims that revenge is a huge motivational factor. “We
feel like we threw the All-Ireland semi-final away last year as
we led by four points with four minutes to go but lost by a point
to Cork. That defeat is the single biggest motivation for this
team and we feel that if we get over this game our season will
take off,” she said.

Once again Cora Staunton has led from the front, scoring an incredible
0-9 in defeat against Galway in the Connacht final. However, if
Mayo are to beat Cork, they will need other players to keep the
score board busy and an improved performance by the midfield pairing
of Claire Egan and Claire McDermott. Cork’s midfield of Juliet
Murphy and Norita Kelly are as strong a pairing as there is in
Ladies football and Mayo must at least break even here.

An awful lot will depend in how much Mayo have improved since
losing to Galway. Staunton is confident the team has moved on.
“We were extremely down after losing to Galway but have since
regrouped. The panel met two days after the Connacht final and
since then we have trained hard and beaten Meath in a challenge
game so we re in good shape. Two years ago we beat Cork in an
All-Ireland quarter final I feel if we put in a big performance
we could do it again.”


Galway and Meath meet in the first semi-final at 3.00pm. When
the sides met earlier this year only three points separated the
teams and Galway midfielder Annette Clarke is expecting another
close game despite Meath’s recent poor form and collapse
in the Leinster final against Laois.

“When you get to knockout stages everybody is in the same
boat. Meath seemed to have an off day against Laois but it doesn’t
matter if you win or lose the provincial final, you are still
in the last eight. The real competition starts here.”

Galway are one of the strongly fancied teams this year. The core
of the team has experienced the agony and ecstasy of All-Ireland
final day. “The success of 2004 was fantastic but this team
is driven by the pain of last year and we are determined not to
let this happen again “, added Clarke.

Galway will be boosted by the return of the talismanic Lisa Cohill,
out injured for the best part of two years with a cruciate ligament
problem. Cohill is expected to start or at least have a big part
to play this weekend after coming on as a sub against Mayo in
the Connacht final. Minor stars Caitriona Cormican and Claire
Molloy have added freshness to the team this season and Galway
look well placed to progress to the All-Ireland semi-finals should
they perform like they can.

Meath on the other hand will need to produce the form that got
them to a Suzuki National League Final and will have to be far
more clinical in attack then they were in a wasteful performance
against Laois.

Both games are live on TG4.



Saturday 19th August

All Ireland Senior Quarter Finals

Galway v Meath Portlaoise 3.00pm

Cork v Mayo Portlaoise 4.45pm

Sunday 20th August

All Ireland Junior Quarter Finals

Clare v Fermanagh Pairc Chiarán, Athlone 2.00pm

Leitrim v Limerick Páirc Chiarán, Athlone 3.30pm

All Ireland U16 A Semi Finals

Kerry v Cork Dromocollogher 12.30pm

Dublin v Monaghan Ardee 3.30pm

All Ireland U16 B Semi Finals

Westmeath v Down Ardee 2.00pm

Roscommon v Waterford Mountmellick 2.00pm


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