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2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

MMI Interprovincial Previews

 

DERRY Peters has assembled a powerful-looking squad laced with Cork’s All-Ireland winning senior stars as Munster look to regain the Mick Talbot cup in Saturday’s MMI Interprovincial tournament.

The cream of the country’s ladies football talent will assemble in Kinnegad as Ulster look to retain their Interprovincial crown.

Munster and Ulster have met in the last two finals – with Munster victorious in 2011 before Ulster gained revenge last year.

The two provincial heavyweights have dominated the competition over the last six seasons, sharing three titles each in that time.

You have to go back to 2006 for Leinster’s last success – with Connacht searching for their first victory in the prestigious competition since 2000.

Former Tipperary manager Peters, currently trainer with the Premier County, has included 14 Cork players in his squad, with Geraldine O’Flynn named as Munster captain.

Munster are staying in Portlaoise on Friday evening before travelling to Kinnegad on Saturday morning for an opening round fixture against Leinster at 11am.

Peters said: “I was involved with the (Munster) schools interpros who have won the last two years. The senior is not easy to win but the general vibe from the girls is that they want to try and win it back.”

Dominic Leech is in charge of Leinster, runners-up in 2009 and 2010.

And Leech, who guided Wicklow to All-Ireland junior success in 2011, is anticipating the most open race for glory in years.

He explained: “From our point of view, it’s nicely set up. We have Munster first and Connacht in our second game. If we can pick up something from one of those two matches, we’ll be going into the Ulster game with a realistic chance. It’s a great tournament and it’s probably the strongest interprovincial team for a couple of years, with Connacht sending a full-strength squad. We picked a possible 32 and the first 31 we contacted had no problem travelling. The girls love playing in it.”

Connacht manager Francie Keane joked that he had to “dangle a few carrots” to get a number of players involved.

But he’s able to call upon nine Mayo players who recently featured against Cork in the Tesco Homegrown National League Division 1 final.

Ace forward Cora Staunton is a member of the travelling party, along with goalkeeper Yvonne Byrne, who was player of the match against Cork.

Indeed, Byrne and Staunton are the only two members of the Connacht squad with interprovincial medals.

Keane smiled: “We had to dangle a few carrots to get people on board!

“But there’s no point going up to compete without a strong squad.

“We’re going to try and win it – and to be competitive if possible.

“But I’ve seen the Munster panel – I thought all the Cork girls might not turn up!”

Keane has also named nine Galway players in his panel, with players from Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon also involved.

But Ulster remain the team to beat and the champions are sweating on the availability of Monaghan midfielder Amanda Casey, who picked up an injury at county team training last Monday evening.

The holders are hoping to win the competition for the third time in four seasons.

The top two teams from the round-robin series of games will fight it out for the Mick Talbot Cup at 3.45 in Kinnegad, with the two bottom-ranked sides competing for the Shield title, won by Leinster last year.

 

Fixtures:

 

Saturday, May 25.

 

 

MMI Interprovincial Tournament

 

Round 1:

11.00am

Connacht v Ulster

Leinster v Munster

 

Round 2:

12.30pm

Connacht v Leinster

Ulster v Munster

 

Round 3

2.00pm

Connacht v Munster

Leinster v Ulster

 

MMI Interprovincial Finals

3.45pm

ends

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