Roscommon Ladies Club Championships Launch

The sun drenched setting of Roscommon Castle and Loughnane Park in Roscommon town was the setting for the launch of the Roscommon ladies championships on Friday evening last. This well attended event was the perfect start to what promises to be one of the most competitive championships at senior intermediate and junior level.

Senior Club Championship Launch

The launch was attended by the Senior championship sponsors Truly Irish represented by Pat Beirne, Intermediate championship sponsors Castlerea Vehicle Recycling represented by Martina Keenan, The Percy French Hotel Strokestown are the Junior championship sponsors.

Roscommon ladies county board were presented with the O’Malley Cup at the launch from St. Brigids GAA Club. The cup is named in honour of the O’Malley family and their contribution to St. Brigids and Roscommon football over the years.

Chrissie O’Malley niece of Roscommon football legend Gerry O’ Malley has an array of titles which could not possibly be surpassed or even matched was present along with her mother Kathleen and her sister Ann. Chrissie is an iconic figure in Roscommon Ladies Football and has soldiered for years amid success and heartbreak for club and county and she continues to perform at such a high level. Her unique approach to the game over the decades has largely remained unchanged despite the massive changes in the sport in that time. Her work ethic, great humour and ability to encourage the younger players is unwavering. There are very few players that will tell you they enjoyed marking Chrissie O’Malley down through the years at training or during a match. The roll of honour for her club and county teams may not have been as impressive was it not for her presence. Chrissies Honours to date that we are aware of; 8 senior county titles with St.Brigids, 8 senior county titles with Padraig Pearses, 3 senior county titles in London with Tir Conall Gaels 1 intermediate all Ireland title with St.Brigids,  1 Connacht and county intermediate title with Brigids,1 All Ireland 7s with Padraig Pearses, 1 Connacht 7s with Brigids,1 intermediate all Ireland with Roscommon 1 Junior All Ireland with Roscommon, 1 All Ireland Masters 7s with Roscommon. Thomas Beades, John (Patsy) O’Connor, Sharon Curran, Tom Lennon and a number of St. Brigids senior players were also in attendance.

Roscommon Ladies Board is grateful to St. Brigids GAA club and the O’Malley family for this prestigious cup which will be presented to the winners of the 2015 senior championship.

Competing for senior honours this year: St. Brigids, Clann na nGeal, Strokestown, Kilbride, Oran & Eire Óg.

Competing for the Intermediate honours:  Western Gaels, St. Ciaran’s, Shannon Gaels, Kilglass Gaels, Caslerea & Boyle.

Competing for Junior honours: St. Barrys, Padraig Pearses, Four Roads, St. Dominics, Ballinameen, St. Marys, St. Croans, Roscommon Gaels, St. Faithleachs, Michael Glavey’s.

Roscommon LGFA Championships 2015

Next weekend sees the start of the Roscommon Ladies Football championships for the majority of clubs, the exceptions being Eire Og and Kilbride who brought their first round match forward a few weeks and played out an entertaining draw.  The Truly Irish Senior Champions will be playing for a new trophy in 2015 as the St. Brigid’s Club have donated the Gerry O’Malley Cup to the Senior winners. St. Brigid’s who regained the title last year will still be favourites in 2015 but  they know that they will have stiff competition from last year’s finalist Clann na nGael and Strokestown who defeated St. Brigid’s in the 2013 final after dramatic matches in Knockcroghery and Ballyforan. Last year’s intermediate winner’s Eire Og have waited a long time to be back playing senior football and will be in with a good shout, while Kilbride and Oran who make up the six senior clubs have also many talented players at their disposal. St. Brigid’s are under the guidance of the Tom and Brian Lennon this year who know all about winning finals as players and coaches and they will leave no stone unturned in claiming another title for this well decorated bunch. With experienced players like Aine O’Brien, Claire Grehan, Chliodna McHugh and Fiona Gavin they will be hard stopped. Martin McDermott and Dick Togher have taken over the reins in Strokestown and there isn’t too much these two wise men don’t know about ladies football in the county and further afield. Expect a very strong challenge from Strokestown with players like Laura Brudell, Aisling Hanley, Niamh and Bronagh McHugh. Clann na nGael who defeated Strokestown in the League Final are a generally a young team with some experienced players in Niamh Fallon, Aisling Egan and Galway’s Edel Concannon. Manager Morgan McDonnell will be hoping his charges will go one better this year. Eire Og under Shane Noonan and with players like Niamh Ward, Rebecca Finan and Kylie Roddy will be hard beaten. Oran have Seamus Cooney, Noel Carroll and Ronan Mahon in their management team and despite having lost the Regan sisters to foreign shores they are also well capable of causing a surprise and reaching the final with footballers like Caroline Gunning, Sinead Cooney and Margaret Fannon. Kilbride who were intermediate champions in 2013 will also be feared. Mick Murray and Michael Tully take charge and with Tara Taylor, Eilish Fannon, Siobhan and Fiona Tully pulling the strings they will fancy their chances of making it to a the final.

In the Intermediate Championship, 2015 finalist’s Western Gaels will expect to be in the shake-up. However, last year’s Junior All-Ireland runners-up St. Ciaran’s make the step up and will also have strong claims come September. Shannon Gaels who won the Connacht Junior Championship in 2013 will be hoping that their strong underage talent comes through. Castlerea and Boyle will also be in the running will also fancy their chances of going all the way. Kilglass Gaels make up the sextet, and despite relegation from the senior championship last year, they will have regrouped and will be slight favourites to go back to Senior in 2016.

The Junior Championship has a new format in 2015 with the Junior B championship being disbanded and two groups of five will contest the championship. Michael Glaveys, Padraig Pearses, St Mary’s, St. Barrys and St. Croan’s will be hoping they can reach the final and emulate the success of St. Ciaran’s in 2014.

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