Tipperary ladies football stars Aishling Moloney and Samantha Lambert
Fans of Gaelic football in Tipperary are in for a real treat on Saturday, May 11 when Semple Stadium, Thurles hosts an attractive double header - at 5pm the Premier County’s ladies football team will take on Limerick in the Munster intermediate championship before Liam Kearns’ men also take on the Shannonsiders in the quarter-finals of the Munster Senior Football Championship at 7pm.
The ladies footballers will also take on Clare (May 25) during the provincial round robin series and will hope to progress to the Munster final and then re-group prior to the launch of the All-Ireland intermediate championship. The provincial champions are seeded in the group phase of the All-Ireland series so there is huge incentive to do well in Munster.
Tipperary, of course, were crowned All-Ireland intermediate champions as recently as 2017 when beating Tyrone so famously in the decider (1-13 to 1-10), but were cruelly relegated from the senior grade in the 2018.
Tipp, however, will carry a degree of confidence into this summer’s Munster and All-Ireland intermediate championships following the experience gained in division one of the league. The side managed by Shane Ronayne beat Cavan in the 2018 division two league final to earn their place at the top table of ladies football for the very first time. And, the Premier County performed admirably during the campaign.
Tipperary secured their division one status in the Lidl National Ladies Football League with a round to spare thanks to a one-point win over Monaghan (1-15 to 2-11) while the Premier County performed admirably against outstanding sides like Mayo, Galway and Donegal. The highlight of the campaign, however, had to be the display at Páirc Uí Rinn, Cork.
Following a performance bubbling with ambition, hard work and real quality Tipperary beat Cork by a single point (3-13 to 1-18) - beating the Rebels, who are one of the favourites to win the All-Ireland senior title this season (Cork lost the 2018 All-Ireland final to Dublin and have claimed eleven All-Ireland titles since 2005), speaks volumes for the potential of Shane Ronayne’s fast-improving side.
The Tipperary ladies football championship panel reads as follows: Anna Rose Kennedy (Aherlow), Bríd Condon (Aherlow), Emma Morrissey (Aherlow), Gráinne Condon (Aherlow), Caitlin Kennedy (Aherlow), Laura Dillon (Ardfinnan), Samantha Lambert (Ardfinnan), Lauren Fitzpatrick (Ballymacarbry, Waterford), Orla O’Dwyer (Boherlahan), Caoimhe Condon (Brian Ború’s), Rosanna Kiely (Cahir), Aishling Moloney (Cahir), Emma Buckley (Cahir), Rachel O'Donnell (Cahir), Aisling McCarthy (Cahir), Ava Fennessy (Clonmel Commercials), Orla Winston (Clonmel Commercials), Anna Carey (Clonmel Commercials), Courtney Lonergan (Clonmel Commercials), Lucy Spillane (Fethard), Rachel Sweeney (Holycross), Katie Cunningham (Latin-Cullen), Cora Maher (Moyle Rovers), Emma Cronin (Moyle Rovers), Niamh Lonergan (Moyle Rovers), Muireann Lloyd (Moyne-Templetuohy), Róisín Daly (Moyne-Templetuohy), Angela McGuigan (Sliabh na mBan), Niamh Martin (Sliabh na mBan), Elaine Fitzpatrick (Templemore) & Maria Curley (Templemore).
Ardfinnan's Samantha Lambert captains the side this year for the third successive season while Lauren Fitzpatrick (Ballymacarbry, Waterford) has been appointed as the vice-captain. Manager Shane Ronayne (Mourneabbey, Cork) is joined on the management team by Tony Smith (Moyle Rovers), Ed Burke (Moyle Rovers) and Sarah Jane Darmody (Ardfinnan) while James O’Leary (Arravale Rovers) takes responsibility for the strength and conditioning of the side. Camida and Tipperary Spring Water are the proud sponsors of the Tipperary ladies football team.
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