Preview of Tg4 Ladies All Ireland Football Final

Preview of Tg4 Ladies All Ireland Football Final

Declan Drake – FM104


So the big day is almost upon us as Gerry Mc Gills charges hunt down their first ever Tg4 All Ireland Ladies Football title in what will be their 3rd attempt at the final hurdle. A campaign that began in Navan with a Leinster Semi Final triumph over Meath comes to its conclusion on the biggest stage of all Croke Park , against the country’s best side over the last 5 years without any real doubt – the Rebels of Cork. The4 times Queens of the ladies game, and that’s simply in Brendan Martin Cup, not to mention Munster and National League success return to a venue that’s like a second home to them. The remarkable thing about the consecutive All Ireland wins they have enjoyed starting back in 2005 is the fact they have beaten 4 different sides to claim the spoils of victory, Monaghan being the latest victim last September at Headquarters.




So what of Dublin? To say the last number of years since their last final appearance back in 2004 have been interesting is somewhat of a major understatement. It has been a major roller coaster of a ride which has lost some prominent figures as well as gaining some new ones who have added greatly to the mix Gerry Mc Gill and his management team have created. Mc Gill to his credit has secured back to back Leinster Titles for the County as well as a Division 2 National League title. While these achievements are admirable, the fact that the team came back after the crushing blow of the 2008 quarter final reversal to Tyrone is a greater one in many respects. This years championship which will see its culmination on Sunday saw a major monkey lifted off the back of Dublin Ladies football in beating Kerry down in Nowlan Park last month in the quarter final. True it had its moments especially in the last few minutes, but the important thing was victory was achieved and a semi final could be planned for. Much credit to Cliodhna O Connor for some wonderful saves in that game as well as Maria Kavanagh and Noelle Comyn amongst others for sterling defensive work.




The semi final defeat of Monaghan a couple of weeks ago up in Ardee will live long in the memory. 8 points down atone stage and in serious trouble the girls dug deep into the well of courage to chisel out a simply fantastic win. Siobhan Mc Grath who deservedly won the player of the match was joined in showing a steely determined brand of courage by the likes of Lyndsey Peat, Sinead Aherne and Lyndsey Davey amongst others in helping Dublin close in on the big prize. While the qualities displayed so admirably that Saturday evening will be required again it’s obvious that they will need to be shown more consistently over the course of the hour.



Key battles here as with most games include the midfield area. How Denise Masterson and Niamh Mc Envoy can cope with Juliet Murphy andNorita Kelly will tell a lot. It will be vitally important to from a Dublin perspective that the flow of ball to the full forward line of Mary O Connor Val Mulcahy and most likely Rhona Ni Bhuachalla be kept to an absolute minimum. Lyndsey Peats roaming and fielding ability anther ability to be a box to box player can be a major difference swell. Defensively it’s important that the Dublin full back line be well protected especially from anticipated Cork raids down the flanks. Cliodhna O Connor who has enjoyed a fine year between the posts will as usual be vital to success as she is likely to see active service. Upfront every body is aware of our striking gems in Sinead Ahern Lyndsey Davey and the ever dependable Mary Nevin, these 3 on their day are real match winners indeed all these girls are plus the likes of Niamh Hurley and Elaine Kelly from the bench.

As Coldplay sang a few years ago “nobody said it was easy” and it won’t be but this Dublin team can end the famine….

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