TG4 Provincial Championship Previews

Saturday, May 14th

TG4 Munster Senior Championship (Round One)

Cork v Waterford

Fermoy (1.30pm)

This is going to be a unique encounter as two All Ireland Champions come face to face in the first match of the 2016 TG4 Munster Championship. Cork are the defending TG4 Senior All Ireland football Championships but they will be severely tested when they meet the 2015 TG4 Intermediate All Ireland Champions in Fermoy. This is also a meeting of Lidl NFL League champions as Cork retained their National Football League Division 1 title and Waterford finally claimed the Division 3 crown.

27 September 2015; Cork captain Ciara O'Sullivan lifts the cup. TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

Waterford may never have a better chance to defeat the Rebellettes than the one that presents itself this weekend. Cork are fresh from winning their Division 1 crown against Mayo and may lack some focus just a week later. They may also be forced to line out without their captain and star forward, Ciara O’Sullivan, who was taken off injured in that win over Mayo. Waterford are on the crest of a wave after Maria Delahunty kicked the dramatic last gasp winner against Tipperary in Semple Stadium but despite that this is a huge step up in class. Aileen Wall is their most effective attacker but she will not be given a seconds piece against Marie Ambsose. Delahunty will need to be flawless from free kicks whilst Linda Wall will need to be at her best at corner back to limit the effect of ace attacker Orla Finn.


Cork claimed their first silverware under Ephie Fitzgerald and, despite a late rally from Mayo, they were relatively comfortable in that victory. Orla Finn has really stepped out of the shadows as the key forward for Cork in recent times but there will be even more pressure on her in the absence of Ciara O’Sullivan. Eimear Scally came on in the Lidl Division 1 Final and, should she find fitness and form, it will be a massive boost for the Cork side. The core group of Stack, O’Reilly, Foley, Corkery, Buckley and Walsh are still together and will provide all the experience necessary.


Waterford will want to make a statement for the season ahead but they couldn’t be given a more difficult introduction to senior football than facing the All Ireland Champions. Cork will want to reclaim the Munster title after losing it to Kerry last year so they will be motivated to perform and, even with some vital players unavailable, they will be an extremely tough nut to crack.


TG4 Munster Intermediate Championship (Round One)

Limerick v Tipperary

Martinstown (4pm)


Limerick and Tipperary will be coming into this having had very different League Final experiences. Limerick enjoyed a victory over Antrim in the Lidl NFL Division 4 final whereas Tipperary suffered defeat in heart breaking fashion in their Division 3 Final replay versus Waterford. However, having had such a competitive lead in to the championship Tipperary should be right up to championship pace. Tipperary showed that they have quality right throughout their side with Jennifer Grant playing brilliantly at centre half back as Lorraine O’Shea and Sheila Carew are a very strong midfield combination. Mairead Morrissey showed some brilliant form at centre forward and her growing understanding with the fantastic young talent that is Aisling Moloney could be a key feature throughout the Summer. Limerick will again look to their great star, Dymphna O’Brien to produce the magic to get their scores against the favourites for the Intermediate All Ireland title favourites. Niamh Richardson is one of the best midfield players in the game and it will be up to her to supply O’Brien with the possession necessary.


Sunday, May 15th


TG4 Connacht Intermediate Championship (Play Off)

Leitrim v Roscommon

Fr. O’Hara Park, Charlestown (3:30pm)


This is a meeting of two teams that know each other extremely well. They competed in the same Division of the Lidl NFL and have had plenty of interesting encounters in the Connacht championship for the past few years. These two teams will have big ambitions this Summer but reaching the Connacht Final will be a minimum requirement before the knock out championship later in the Summer. Sligo await the winner of this match in the provincial showpiece after all 3 teams had finished level after the round robin series of the match. As always when Leitrim play all eyes will be on Áine Tighe. This forward carries the bulk of their scoring threat and will again be expected to be the biggest influence on the field. This well balanced Roscommon team have enjoyed several victories over their neighbours in recent year and will need to have players like Jennifer Higgins on top form if they are to reach the Provincial decider.


TG4 Leinster Intermediate Championship (Round One)

Kildare v Louth

Sarsfields GAA Grounds (2:00pm)


Kildare and Louth will meet in the first match of the Leinster championship on Saturday afternoon. The Lilywhites will go into this match as favourites having reached the TG4 Intermediate All Ireland Final last year, a day that also featured their opponents as Louth claimed the 2015 TG4 Junior All Ireland Championship. Kildare secured their status in Division 2 of the Lidl National Football Leagues but will be disappointed that they were not in contention for the semi finals. Louth had been hoping to take the next step in their progression by securing promotion from Division 4 but they too failed to reach the semi finals. Kildare have operated at a higher level and are used to the Intermediate championship, they will be favourites for this match and to retain their Leinster championship title but Louth will be sure to give them a stern test.

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