Huge Weekend Ahead

CORK wing-back Geraldine O’Flynn admits that Kerry are “on a roll” as the sides prepare to do battle in Saturday’s TG4 Munster ladies senior football final (3.45).

The neighbours collide in Castletownroche and Cork have revenge on their minds after Kerry beat them by two points in the first round of this year’s provincial competition.

The Leesiders bounced back with a comfortable victory over Clare before Kerry’s victory against the Banner County set up a heavyweight Munster final clash – and another repeat of last year’s All-Ireland final.

Allstar O’Flynn said: “We’re definitely looking forward to it. We had a very tough match in Caherciveen and we’re expecting nothing less again this Saturday.

“Kerry had a great League and won (Division 2) silverware, which they had come very close to over the last couple of years. They’ve been to Croke Park, done all that, added the League title and then beat us in the championship. They’re on a roll really and they should be very good again on Saturday.”

Cork are going for a tenth successive Munster title but O’Flynn admits that last month’s defeat to Kerry led to plenty of soul-searching.

It was Cork’s first championship defeat since the 2010 All-Ireland quarter-final against Tyrone and O’Flynn revealed: “It did take a few days to sink in. Reflecting on it, we looked at areas where we needed to improve on. We got ourselves together a bit and while we were slightly under against Kerry, they were well up for it on the day.”

Also on Saturday, the TG4 Leinster final pits Dublin against Meath at Dr. Cullen Park in Carlow (5.0).

It’s a repeat of last year’s provincial decider and Dublin boss Paul Gilheaney is confident that the Jackies can retain the title.

He smiled: “First of all the hurlers won last week and the talk was ‘could Dublin do a double’ but they could do the treble. It’s a pity the game couldn’t have fitted in around the men’s game at Croke Park on Sunday – before the minor game or after the senior. It would have been fantastic for the girls to play at Croke Park.”

Gilheaney has reported no injury worries from the Dublin camp and he’s anticipating a massive challenge from a Meath side desperate for success.

The Royals have lost the last two Leinster finals and Gilheaney acknowledged: “Without a shadow of a doubt this will be a battle.

“And when Meath are not expected to do anything, they’re as dangerous as hell. They were relegated in the League but beat Laois in the Leinster semi-final. If you take them lightly, you’ll end up on your backside.”

On Sunday, it’s another traditional Connacht decider between Mayo and Galway, with Mayo looking to avenge last year’s shock defeat against the holders.

In the 2012 National League Division 2 final between the counties, Mayo won comprehensively but they blew a ten-point lead in the provincial showpiece as Galway produced a remarkable fightback.

It was “ten minutes of madness” that cost Mayo, according to star forward Cora Staunton.

And with the teams operating in different divisions in this year’s Tesco Homegrown League, it’s the first competitive meeting between the sides since last year’s decider.

Staunton said: “We’ve been going off looking at each other’s League results and that can be quite difficult when you’re in different divisions but it adds a bit of spice and bite. If you end up playing teams too many times it can become predictable because you know each other inside out but this year it’s different with both teams having new management.”

Galway manager Barry Downey, who has ruled Emma Curley out of contention through injury, agreed: “Looking at the programme from last year’s final, both teams will have five or six girls who didn’t feature.

“There’s a touch of the unknown there, with the effect of not having met in the League. It’s unusual and adds to the bite a little bit more. The lack of familiarity sets it up nicer.”

In Ulster, Monaghan are gunning for a fourth successive provincial crown on Sunday.

But Gregory McGonigle’s side will have it all to do against a rejuvenated Tyrone at Celtic Park in Derry (3.45).

Joint-managers Paudge Quinn and Brian McGee took charge of the Red Hands shortly before the Ulster semi-final win against Armagh.

And McGonigle noted: “I was very impressed by them in that game because the guys were only in a couple of weeks. They played to a style of play and a system that maybe had been lacking in Tyrone. The lads have a very clear idea of what they want to do. They were very disciplined and organised and have Maura Kelly back, Allstar corner back Sinead McLaughlin and Neamh Woods, who is one of the best players I’ve ever coached. Adding that calibre of player lifts not only your squad but also the standard of performance.”

Sign up to our email newsletter


Partners & Supporters





See all LGFAClubs