Ladies Football Article

Ladies Football Article

Sligo aim to create history this weekend as they attempt to claim their first ever Senior Connacht title at the expense of Mayo in McHale Park on Sunday.

The final pits new kids on the block Sligo against one of the traditional power brokers of the senior game. In years past this would have been a cake walk for the Westerners but a troubled season dominated by poor form and player dissatisfaction has thrown the form book out the window and given Sligo their best chance of a Connacht title.

Sligo, who beat a much fancied Galway side to reach the final, are playing only their second season at senior level but have the self belief to take on the might of Mayo. Sligo have just one slight injury concern ahead of the game as corner forward Siobhan O’Sullivan recovers from a knee ligament injury picked up against Galway but the squad remains focused on the task in hand.

Sligo midfielder Bernice Byrne said, “It would be great to win a Connacht title and go straight through to the quarter-finals of the Championship. The Qualifiers provide another chance but we would like to go straight through and hopefully we won’t need the qualifier root.”

“Mayo had a very unpredictable league season but we had a poor league campaign so nothing can be taken from that. We wont be worrying too much about what they are going to do but will be concentrating on our own gameplan,” continued Byrne.

Claire O’Hara, who will captain the Mayo side this Sunday has confidence in her side despite not having the most ideal preparation for a provincial final.

“We didn’t get it together for the league and didn’t have a manager for the opening games but we have had a good break since the end of the league and have settled things down. The squad have put in a lot of hard work since then and things are really coming together”, said O’Hara

Mayo were denied a competitive fixture ahead of the Connacht final following Leitrim’s withdrawal from the Championship and this could also give an edge to Sligo who played Galway in the last fortnight.

“It was disappointing that they pulled out of the Championship as we would have preferred to have played against Leitrim ahead of the final but these things cannot be helped and only time will tell if our poor league form works against us in the Connacht final,” opined O’Hara.

Scoring sensation Cora Staunton is back training with the Mayo squad following a knee operation in January but has yet to play competitively for the county in 2007.

The other big game this weekend is in Brewster Park where Tyrone face Monaghan in the Ulster Senior Championship final. Tyrone have not won the Ulster title since 2002 while Monaghan’s last senior provincial title came in 2005. Armagh have dominated ladies football in Ulster in recent times winning the title in 2006 and 2007 but their stranglehold will be broken this weekend as two of the most exciting emerging counties contest the Ulster title.

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