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2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Jackies hope to do double over Cork

Jackies hope to do double over Cork

 

 

In the history of Ladies Gaelic Football only four counties have won the National League and All-Ireland titles in the same year, namely, Kerry, Waterford, Monaghan and Cork. The Kingdom Ladies have achieved this feat on eight occasions in all while Waterford has done it twice and Monaghan once. The Rebelettes have won the double on three occasions in the past five years, namely, 2005, 2006, 2008 and have their eyes firmly set on a fourth double for 2009. Mayo’s victory in 2007 in the National League final prevented another double.

Despite winning the double in 2008 Cork did suffer one defeat. That came in the National League when they lost at home to the Jackies in Mallow. No doubt revenge will be firmly on their minds when they visit Naomh Mearnóg next Sunday. Both sides go in to this match with one hundred per cent records having three wins out of three to date. Cork in particular has cruised through its games making full use of its substitute bench. Dublin on the other hand had a tough battle with Monaghan while having comfortable wins against Kildare and Galway. The Cork panel contains all of its All-Ireland winning side along with a few new faces. The likelihood is that Cork will field its strongest side for its toughest test to date. No changes are likely to the Dublin squad either for this game.

The Jackies will be able to measure their progress to date based on how they perform against the top team in the country. A victory would see them in pole position with a home game against Clare to come. Defeat would not be the end of the world either. The battle at midfield will be crucial.Denise Masterson and Niamh McEvoy or Fiona Corcoran will have to at least break even with Juliet Murphy and Norita Kelly. If the Jackies were to dominate then Lyndsey Davey, Niamh Hurley and Sinead Ahearne are well capable of scoring well and often. The remaining forwards, Mary Nevin, Colleen Barrett and Anne-Marie Murphy have all been on the score sheet in all of Dublin’s three games to date.

Maria Kavanagh in action

 

The Dublin half-back line of Eilish McKenna, Sorcha Furlong and Siobhan McGrath will have to prevent Nollaig Cleary, Mary O’Connor and Deirdre O’Reilly getting clean possession and setting up their inside line of Valerie Mulcahy, Amy O’Shea, and Aishling Barrett. The Dublin fullback line can expect to be under pressure from the off and they must not afford any space in particular to Mulcahy and O’Shea. The experience of Noelle Comyn and Maria Kavanagh is a valuable asset going into this fixture and along with Avril Cluxton they must match up to a formidable full-forward line. Both sides boast reliable goalkeepers, namely, Cliodhna O’Connor and Elaine Harte. O’Connor put her height to good use against Kildare when finger-tipping two dropping balls over the bar. They will have to keep their respective defences on their toes.

 

Mary Nevin, Colleen Barrett and Lyndsey Davey aside from their attacking duties will have to track back and defend also to disrupt Cork’s attacking patterns. Everything points to a cracking game of football. The accuracy of the Dublin’s forwards shooting on sight in the early stages of the game against Kildare was wonderful. Lets hope for more of the same. We will not, however, be able to afford to go twenty minute without scoring in this game as happened against the Lillies. Dublin registered four goals in the games against Monaghan and Kildare and would have against Galway also were it not for the superb goalkeeping of Joanne Connolly. That’s not likely to happen against a defence with players of the calibre of Rena Buckley, Angie Walsh and Geraldine O’Flynn. Ciara and Roisin O’Sullivan have slotted in neatly and efficiently around Brí d Stack in the half-back line. One anticipates that Briege Corkerry may start in this game thus posing a further threat to the Dublin defence through her overlapping runs from defence. Any goals scored will be crucial. The Rebelettes will go into the game as hot favourites which will suit Gerry McGill’s side perfectly. The Jackies will see this as an opportunity to measure up and get one over on the current National League champions. Could they achieve their own double over Cork? Its not beyond the bounds of possibility.

Verdict – draw.

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