Tipperary ladies football captain Samantha Lambert pictured celebrating with her teammates following the Lidl Ladies Football National League division two final at Parnell Park, Dublin recently.
Tipperary will take on Cork in the TG4 Munster Senior Ladies Football Championship semi-final next Saturday, June 2nd in Ardfinnan (throw-in 2pm) - the winners of that game will face Kerry or Waterford in the provincial decider.
And, the task faced by the Tipperary team against Cork is neatly carved out for them - the Premier County face a Rebels outfit which has won eleven of the last thirteen All-Ireland titles and as a result Shane Ronayne’s team will enter the contest as distinct underdogs.
There is, however, hope. Indeed, blue and gold supporters left Parnell Park in Dublin feeling a foot taller following Tipperary’s dramatic one-point win over Cavan in the Lidl National Ladies Football League division two final (0-21 to 3-11) recently.
Plenty went wrong for the Premier County in that decider, but each time Tipperary responded to the challenge posed. Indeed, you could not but fall in love with this team and how they go about their business: Tipperary are mean in defence, explosive on the ball and they just refuse to give up. Indeed, Tipperary ladies football manager Shane Ronayne described the spirit of his players as “incredible”.
“We are delighted and we are especially delighted with the response from the players when Cavan got their scores; when they got the goals our girls went up the field and they took control of the game again. I think twenty-one points was an incredible score,” Shane Ronayne told the Tipperary Star following the league final.
“Cavan got three goals and every single time we responded to them. They are just an incredible bunch. It is just superb to see the whole team spirit there.”
Shane Ronayne was named the Lidl-Irish Daily Star manager of the month for May on Friday - under Shane’s stewardship Tipperary won the Lidl National League division two title earlier this year. Shane is pictured centre alongside Brian Flanagan (Irish Daily Star sports editor) and Jay Wilson (sponsorship manager with Lidl Ireland). Photo: Sportsfile
MANAGER OF THE MONTH
Shane Ronayne was named the Lidl-Irish Daily Star manager of the month for May on Friday. And, the Cahir-based schoolteacher has presided over a remarkable couple of years for the Premier County who went unbeaten in 2017. Tipperary won the division three league title last year before also landing the Munster and All-Ireland intermediate crowns last season.
Indeed, following the victory over Cavan you would have to wonder where the ceiling is for this Tipperary ladies football team - the outfit managed by Shane Ronayne have earned their place amongst the ladies football elite in division one.
“The big thing is that we have Cork on the horizon now. And, we know that we are going to have to be an awful lot better against Cork - Cork are Cork, they are a class act,” Shane Ronayne revealed to the Tipperary Star.
“They might be missing a few (players) from years gone by, but they are still Cork. People are talking about them being in trouble, but they are not. And, I know that from being involved in the club scene down there. So, it’s going to be a huge task the next day, but, look, I think today will give our girls great confidence. And, we are where we want to be: we are up in division one, we are in a Munster senior semi-final against Cork and we are going to go hell for leather for the next four weeks.”
The extraordinary undefeated run of the Tipperary ladies football team came to an end on Sunday, April 8th at the Waterford Institute of Technology when the Premier County lost to Waterford on a 2-6 to 1-19 scoreline. Previous to the encounter with Waterford the Premier County recorded victories over Armagh (2-12 to 2-10), Laois (5-14 to 1-5), Tyrone (0-12 to 0-9), Cavan (1-13 to 3-4), Sligo (4-19 to 0-7) and Clare (2-12 to 3-7). Tipperary, however, re-grouped and beat Armagh in the league semi-final (3-10 to 4-6) before seeing off the challenge of Cavan in the league final.
Following the provincial campaign Tipperary will then compete in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship. And, the structure of the competition reads as follows; four groups of three will comprise the round robin stage of the championship - group one (Ulster champions, Munster runner-up, Loser of Cork v Tipp Munster semi-final), group two (Munster champions, Ulster runner-up, Loser of Donegal v Monaghan Ulster semi-final), group three (Connacht champions, Leinster runner-up, Loser of Kerry v Waterford Munster semi-final) and group four (Leinster champions, Connacht runner-up, Loser of Cavan v Armagh Ulster semi-final).
The round robin stage will take place on the following dates: Saturday, July 14th, Saturday, July 21st and Saturday, July 28th. The quarter-finals are scheduled to take place on Monday, August 6th and Sunday, August 12th, the semi-finals on Saturday, August 18th and Saturday, August 25th and the final on Sunday, September 16th.
The Tipperary team which beat Cavan in the recent division two league final read as follows: Lauren Fitzpatrick (Ballymacarbry, Waterford), Anna Rose Kennedy (Aherlow), Maria Curley (Templemore), Emma Buckley (Cahir), Jennifer Grant (Brian Ború’s), Caoimhe Condon (Brian Ború’s), Samantha Lambert (Ardfinnan, captain), Bríd Condon (Aherlow), Orla O’Dwyer (Boherlahan), Aishling Moloney (Cahir), Róisín Howard (Cahir), Aisling McCarthy (Cahir), Niamh Lonergan (Moyle Rovers), Gillian O’Brien (Moyle Rovers), Mairéad Morrissey (Brian Ború’s). Subs used: Siobhán Condon (Aherlow), Kate Davey (Fethard).
Panel members: Laura Dillon (Ardfinnan), Muireann Lloyd (Moyne-Templetuohy), Shauna Quirke (Cappawhite), Sarah Everard (Moyle Rovers), Aoibhe O’Shea (Mullinahone), Gráinne Condon (Aherlow), Jenny Everard (Moyle Rovers), Róisín McGrath (Moyle Rovers), Anna Carey (Clonmel Commercials), Emma Cronin (Moyle Rovers), Rachel O’Donnell (Cahir), Róisín Daly (Moyne-Templetuohy) & Marie Creedon (Thurles Sarsfields).
Management team: this season the Tipperary senior ladies football team is managed by Shane Ronayne alongside mentors Anne-Marie Ruby, Elaine Harte, Tony Smith, James O’Leary and Alan O’Connor.
The 2018 Lidl Ladies National Football League division two team of the year - Evelyn Baugh (Cavan), Sarah Marley (Armagh), Maria Curley (Tipperary), Michelle McGrath (Waterford), Sinéad Greene (Cavan), Samantha Lambert (Tipperary), Caoimhe Condon (Tipperary), Jennifer Grant (Tipperary), Emma Jane Gervin (Tyrone), Aoife McCoy (Armagh), Aisling Maguire (Cavan), Aishling Sheridan (Cavan), Aimee Mackin (Armagh), Aishling Moloney (Tipperary) and Katie Walsh (Sligo). Photo: Sportsfile
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