TG4 All Ireland Football Semi Final Previews

Armagh v Cork - TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Round 2 Qualifier 


The last two TG4 All Ireland Semi Finals take place this weekend in Pearse Park, Longford where we will find out who will go forward to meet Dublin and Down in the TG4 Senior and Intermediate All Ireland Finals at Croke Park on September 28th.


TG4 Intermediate Football Championship Semi Final


Fermanagh v Roscommon

Pearse Park, Longford, 13:45 (C. McManus)


Fermanagh and Longford will take to the field at 13:45 with a place in Croke Park on TG4 All Ireland Final Sunday at stake. Fermanagh will have some bad memories of being at this same stage last year when a seemingly beaten Tipperary team rallied with less than 40 seconds remaining to overturn a 4 point deficit and claim the most unlikely of victories. They endured a difficult path through Ulster losing twice to Down along the way. However, they will feel that they have turned a corner after defeating a very strong Waterford team in the Quarter Final and did so despite losing inspirational player, Caroline Little to injury for a long period in that match. The trio of Littles are important player for Fermanagh with Tara and Sharon joining the excellent Caroline and captain Aisling Moane at centre half forward is also a big player for Fermanagh.


Roscommon, have been on something of a role since losing out in Connacht defeating Offaly and Longford in tight encounters. Earlier this year they claimed the TESCO Homegrown National League Division 4 title after losing out the previous year and will feed off that renewed confidence. Jenny Higgins is a fantastic player for Roscommon and her battle with Fermanagh’s star player, Caroline Little will be a key match-up. Sinead Kenny is a very composed defender with Claire Raftery and Jenny Downey expected to shoulder much of the scoring burden.


TG4 Senior Football Championship Semi Final


Armagh v Cork

Pearse Park, Longford, 15:30 (G. Chapman)


Armagh have been something of a surprise package in the championship to date as they denied Monaghan a fifth Ulster title in a row in the Ulster Final despite operating in the third tier of the TESCO Homegrown National Football League. However, Armagh have made a habit of defeating Division 1 teams as they have beaten Tyrone, Donegal, Monaghan and Laois who were all in the top division. Last year they pushed Cork to within a point in the quarter final and possibly could have won with a last minute free so they will take plenty of confidence from that performance. There is mixed news on the injury front though as they lose star defender, Mairead Tennyson, through a shoulder injury suffered against Laois but they can call on Marion McGuinness who missed the same match through injury. It is a strong Armagh side from front to back with Caoimhe Morgan and Niamh Marley looking excellent in defence and a very exciting attacking unit including hard working Sinead McCleary, the excellent Fionnuala McKenna and Lauren McConville who was superb in the semi final. However, there can be little doubt that Caroline O’Hanlon is the key player for Armagh as their captain is one of the real stand out performers of the past decade, her foot passing is top quality and she is equally comfortable in defence or breaking forward with the attack where she scored 2-06 last time out, there is no doubt that Eamonn Ryan will have put a plan in place to curb O’Hanlon’s impact.


Cork are simply one of the greatest teams ever to play any gaelic games code. Their success speaks for itself as they have claimed 8 All Ireland titles in 9 years and are on a quest for their 4th in a row. However, this team take absolutely nothing for granted and they will be fully focused on the task of defeating Armagh. Their team is star studded from front to back with Angela Walsh, Bríd Stack, Deirdre O’Reilly and current Player’s Player of the Year, Geraldine O’Flynn amongst their rear guard. Roisin Phelan and Vera Foley have joined that defensive unit this year and have certainly not looked out of place. Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley have pushed forward into midfield following the retirement of Juliet Murphy and either one of these are well capable of subduing Caroline O’Hanlon. Ciara O’Sullivan is the link between defence and attack at centre forward where she has been in superb form. Grace Kearney has done well since being introduced at full forward with Valerie Mulcahy playing at corner forward and sure to have a big impact on the match.


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