Wicklow Ladies County Championship Finals

FINAL 2005.


The stage is set on Sunday next in the county grounds
in Aughrim for the
the Junior and Senior Wicklow ladies football championship
finals, in
what will be an exciting encounter for both sets of
teams and their
fans who it is hoped will turn out in big numbers
to cheer on the Junior
and Senior girls who will be competing for their respective
.The first game up for decision will be the Junior
final between the
experienced Clara and relative newcomers Donard the
Glen, referee John
Doran will throw the ball in for this clash at 4.30.
This is the fourth year in a row that Clara have reached
the finals of
the Junior championship, in last years final they
were denied the chance
to lift the Kathleen O’ Neill trophy when they were
narrowly beaten by
the Arklow Geraldines Balleymoney ladies.
Clara’s captain Neasa Olohan believes “that this
will be our year to
collect the title,our trainer John Gahan and the girls
have put in very
special effort on the training pitch this season and
hopefully we will
reap the rewards on Sunday”, Neasa was disappointed
when they lost out
to the Arklow side in last years final, She added
that “we have picked
ourselves up, and dusted ourselves down since then
and are ready for a
competitive encounter on Sunday next”, Neasa
went on to say that “we
will not be under estimating our opponents Donard
, as they have already
knock out title contenders Eire Og and Kilcoole in
the run in to this
years championship final, so we will be one hundred
and ten percent
focused on this very important game for our club”.
“Unlike Donard, Clara
have had a relatively easy path to this years final,
a convincing win
over Kilbride and a bye in the semi-final has resulted
in a lack of
competitive games for our side” stated Clara’s
manager John Gahan, he
went on to say that “it’s the vast experience
that we have gained in
four championship finals that may just be the difference
between the
sides at 5.45 on the big day”.

Mean while over in the west Wicklow village of Donard/Glen,
the build up
to the Donard Ladies first ever appearance in a championship
final is
well and truly under way, sewing machines can be heard
late in to the
night stitching up flags and banners in preparation
for the big day in
However down on the training field the athmosphere
is a little more
serious, the Donard Ladies junior football team who
are only two years
in existence have reached their first final, their
captain Rosin Toomey commented that,” there is
no doubt that our team
will be going in to this game as underdogs, but we
have shown in our two
previous championship games against top class opposition
that we have
the determination to succeed, and there is a battling
spirit bred in to
this young Donard team that is second to none”,
Rosin added that the
“Donard men have a great tradition of success
in championship football
and I would hope that we can continue that tradition
on Sunday next and
bring the title back to the village for the first
time”.one thing that
we can be sure of is, that the ladies from Donard
the Glen will probably
be the best supported side in Aughrim on the day.
The winners of this
match will go forward to play offaly’s junior champions
in the first
round of the leinster club championship on Sunday
the 14th next.



While the Junior Championship final
is reaching its conclusion, waiting
in the wings will be the ladies from Arklow Geraldines
Ballymoney and
Blessington who will go head to head in the senior
championship final,
the ball will be thrown in by referee Eddie Craul
at 6.15pm.
For Blessington , the path to their sixth senior
championship final is a
well trodden one, the girls from the west have competed
in the previous
five finals in a row, winning the senior title in
2001 and 2002, and are
hopeful of adding the 2005 title to that list, Blessington’s
John O’Malley and Louise Allen are quietly confident
that this could be
their year, “we have introduced a number of
young players in to the side
this season, so the squad is a nice mix of youth
and experience, and it
is the more experienced players that we hope will
lead from the front on
the day, our opponents in the final have been the
dark horses in this
championship, and have improved since we beat them
in the league earlier
this season, and they can not be dismissed too easily”
stated O’Malley.
Blessington who are the current league leaders have
put in an enormous
effort this year to win the championship title for
the third time,
Blessington’s Captain Jessica Carroll, who won the
National football
league with Wicklow earlier this year is no stranger
to pressure games,
she believes that “if we keep our shape and
concentration for the full
duration of the game, we will not be too far off
the mark”, she added “
Arklow have had good results in the run in to the
final, and while our
younger team members are excited about taking part
in their first final,
the more mature players in the squad are keeping
their powder dry for
what should be a competitive game on the day, and
one that we are all
looking forward to”.
Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney ladies set out three
objectives at their
AGM at the start of the season, First to take it
easy and enjoy their
first season at senior level, second to finish mid-table
in the league,
and third to get to the semi-finals of the”B”
championship for 2005.
Every thing was going according to plan until Arklow
narrowly beat
Carnew in their first round match of the senior
championship in Pearse
park, and have progressed to the final to face hot
Arklow Gers manager Pat Canavan, who has been with
the club from the
very beginning, is pleased with the way that the
girls have adapted to
life in the senior division, he recently commented
that ” We are
enjoying our football this season and it is probably
one of the factors
that has helped us to reach the finals of the senior
championship at our
first attempt”, he added that “the girls
have become more of a unit this
year and this is reflected in the way we have approached
championship this season, we have taken one game
at a time and now we
face the ultimate challenge, to lift the Jacob cup
would be a dream come
through for all those involved with the team”.
Arklow Gers/Balleymoney Captain and goal keeper
Tina Byrne is looking
forward to the final, commenting that ” there
is no doubt that we are
going in to this game as under-dogs, we will have
to step our
performance up an extra gear, and the girls will
have to put in a big
effort, if we are to cause another upset this year”,
Byrne added that
“we are expecting a very competitive game I
believe that all the
pressure will be on Blessington to bring home the
title, and if it does
not happen for us this year we will have gained
from the experience, and
we will build on it for next year”.The winners
of this encounter will go
forward to play either Ballygarrett or Kilaneran
in the first round of
the intermediate leinster club championship on Sunday
forthnight at a
venue in Wexford.
The Wicklow Ladies Football county board would like
to wish the four
teams the best of luck in the finals.

Michael Forde,
PRO Wicklow Ladies Football.
10 Lamberton heights Arklow,Co. Wicklow.e-mail
wicklowladiesfootball@eircom.net 087-6422658 (M)


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