PREVIEWS: Fermanagh or Wicklow for Junior glory; Cork or Galway for TG4 Senior Final slot

FERMANAGH or Wicklow will be crowned TG4 All-Ireland Junior Champions on Saturday – while the second Senior Finalist to join Dublin at Croke Park on December 20 will be revealed on Sunday, when Cork face Galway.

Both games are fixed for Parnell Park in Dublin, with Fermanagh and Wicklow throwing in at 4pm, while Cork and Galway have a 1.30pm start.

Both of the weekend’s games are live on TG4, and on the TG4 Player:


Saturday December 5


TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship FINAL   


Fermanagh v Wicklow – Parnell Park, 4.00pm – Live on TG4:


TWO counties who have already met in the 2020 TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship will meet again at Parnell Park on Saturday to decide the destination of the West County Hotel Cup.

Wicklow beat Fermanagh by four points – 0-9 to 1-2 – in the group stages and another close encounter is anticipated at Parnell Park.

There’s huge motivation for both teams to claim the silverware, and also the added prize of 2021 Intermediate Championship football.

Fermanagh, Junior Champions in 2017, were runners-up last year, while Wicklow, who were Junior Champions in 1990 and 2011, are aiming to bounce back to the Intermediate grade at the first attempt, following relegation last year.

Both teams are capable of racking up a big score, as evidenced in their respective semi-finals.

Wicklow put 7-11 past Antrim, while Fermanagh registered 4-10 in their victory over Limerick, who were Junior winners in 2018.

It’s set up for an intriguing encounter, with both counties boasting forwards of rich quality, midfielders capable of dictating the course of a game, tight-marking defenders, and very capable goalkeepers.

Eimear Smyth was the 2019 TG4 Junior Players’ Player of the Year, and the Fermanagh forward has been in blistering form again this season.

She’s at the top of the scoring charts with a massive haul of 5-11 to date, which is five points clear of Wicklow’s Meadhbh Deeney, who has contributed 4-11 in Wicklow’s campaign.

Bláithín Bogue, Joanne Doonan and Róisín O’Reilly are other Fermanagh players who have the ability to aid the Erne County’s scoring cause, while Marie Kealy (1-12 thus far), Clodagh Fox (3-1), captain Laura Hogan (1-7) and Sarah Miley (1-2) have also contributed hugely to Wicklow.

Fermanagh manager Jonny Garrity and his players will be hoping to erase the memories of last year’s Final heartbreak at the hands of Louth, while Wicklow boss Mark Murnaghan (in his first season in charge) and his players will hope to secure the Garden County’s first Junior crown in nine years.

Fermanagh captain Courteney Murphy has shrugged off a hand injury and is named in the starting line-up, while Wicklow are unchanged.


Fermanagh (v Wicklow): S Murphy; S McQuade, E Murphy, M McGloin; M Flynn, C Murphy (capt.), S McCarville; R O’Reilly, A Flanagan; S McCausland, R McDonald, A Maguire; J Doonan, E Smyth, A O’Brien.


Wicklow (v Fermanagh): L Dempsey; E Mulhall, SJ Winders, L Dunne; A Conroy, S Hogan, J Nolan Byrne; A Gorman, J Kinch; L Ahern, L Hogan (capt.), S Miley; C Fox, M Deeney, M Kealy.


Sunday December 6


TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final   


Cork v Galway – Parnell Park, 1.30pm – Live on TG4:


CORK and Galway meet on Sunday for the right to play Dublin in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Final on December 20 at Croke Park.

This semi-final meeting pairs the 2018 and 2019 runners-up, as Cork lost out to the Sky Blues two years ago on Final day, while Galway came up short last year.

It’s also a repeat of the 2019 Lidl National League Final between the counties, which Cork won at Parnell Park.

When they last met in the Championship, Cork ran out comprehensive 6-19 to 1-10 quarter-final winners in Mullingar, while the Rebelettes had a two-point victory at the quarter-final stage in 2015 over Galway.

Also in 2015, Cork claimed a replay victory in the National League Final, and that recent sequence of big-game results suggests the Leesiders have the Indian sign over the Westerners.

Galway are without suspended Fabienne Cooney for this one, as Sarah Gormally is handed her first Championship minutes of the season in a starting role at corner back.

Cork also make one change – Shauna Kelly getting the nod in defence, with dual player Meabh Cahalane dropping to the bench.

Kelly was introduced at half-time for Cahalane last time out against Cavan, and holds her place.

Cork beat Kerry and Cavan to make it to the last four, while Galway endured nerve-jangling one-point victories over Tipperary and Monaghan.

Cork will look to Saoirse Noonan (3-4 to date in the Championship), Orla Finn (1-8), Áine Terry O’Sullivan (3-2) and skipper Doireann O’Sullivan (0-7) to fire them into the Final, while Galway will be reliant on the scoring prowess of former skipper Tracey Leonard (0-11), Olivia Divilly (0-6), captain Louise Ward (1-2) and Lucy Hannon (1-2).

Last Saturday’s Armagh-Dublin semi-final was a gripping encounter at Kingspan Breffni, and we look set for another cracker at Parnell Park.


Cork (v Galway): M O’Brien; E Meaney, R Phelan, S Kelly; M Duggan, A Hutchings, E O’Shea; M O’Callaghan, H Looney; E Kiely, C O’Sullivan, O Finn; Á O’Sullivan, D O’Sullivan (capt.), S Noonan.


Galway (v Cork): L Murphy; S Gormally, S Lynch, S Burke; L Coen, C Cooney, N Ward; A Davoren, L Ward (capt.); O Divilly, M Glynn, L Noone; M Seoighe, T Leonard, L Hannon.


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