Suzuki Ladies league Final thriller in prospect.

Suzuki Ladies league Final thriller in prospect.

At the beginning of the Suzuki National Ladies Football league if one were asked to predict the finalists of this years exciting competition, few would have plumped for a Kerry-Laois decider. Make no mistake about it, both are there entirely on merit. While Kerry have been more impressive en route to the final, this will count for little when they face a resurgent Laois at Cusack Park in Ennis on Sunday at 1.45. The game will be played before the National hurling league match, between Clare and Tipperary and a added bonus for the huge following Ladies football is attracting countrywide, it will be televised live by TG4.

Kerry need this victory very badly as they begin a 10th championship season without a single Championship victory to their credit. This is simply unacceptable in a football crazy county, which like their men counterparts leads the roll of honour with 11 All-Ireland and 11 National league titles to their credit. They won an unprecedented 9 in a row in the Championship from 1982 to 1990, while in the League their victories came in 1980 and 1991 winning them all except in 1986.

All that is history now and will have little bearing on Sundays proceedings, and so is the history of the Laois perennial All-Ireland final losses, 4 times to Kerry, before they made that fantastic breakthrough against Mayo in 2001 in that never to be forgotten final, will be their main spur.

Tremendous boost

Their semi-final victory over favourites Mayo, will have given them a tremendous boost and with players of the calibre of Tracy Lawlor, Sue Ramsbottom, Mary Casey, Mary Kirwan, Kathleen O’Reilly, Linda Brennan and a host of other hungry for success players they will not be found wanting. The fact that under Kerryman Mick O’ Dwyer their male counterparts have also reached the League final they will be anxious to record the first leg of what would be an unbelievable double.

Kerry on the other hand, know that they have had a great league and would like to finish the campaign off on a successful note. They have teak tough defenders and lethal forwards in the persons of Geraldine O’Shea who was around in their glory days up to the early ‘90’s. They also possess a young precocious talent in Casey O’Driscoll, a chip off the old block, former stalwart Ger, her skills are amazing and it is a joy to behold, to see her flick the ball up in full, to watch out for.

But in Sarah O’Connor a converted forward they have a real gem. They will not be lacking fitness either with fitness expert Mike Horan lending his expertise to the drive of Manager Robbie Griffin. It all makes for an intriguing clash, which will go right down to the wire, hopefully a fitting one particularly for the sponsors Suzuki, whose foresight has been rewarded big time, with the high profile the best contested National League ever, has received.

Fr. Liam Kelleher PRO 087-9516984 021-4886128

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