LADIES FOOTBALL

It's Munster final time: the Tipperary ladies football team prepare to face Clare in the intermediate decider

Brian McDonnell

Reporter:

Brian McDonnell

Email:

bmcdonnell@tipperarystar.ie

It's Munster final time: the Tipperary ladies football team prepare to face Clare in the intermediate decider

Tipperary ladies football captain Samantha Lambert.

Tipperary will take on Clare in the TG4 Munster Intermediate Ladies Football Championship final on Sunday, June 16 at 12 noon in Cappamore, Limerick - this year the provincial championship has been run on a round robin basis and since the provincial champions are seeded in the group phase of the All-Ireland series there is huge incentive to win the competition outright.

Tipperary progressed to the Munster final against the Banner following wins over Limerick (10-22 to 0-4) and Clare (2-15 to 2-11). Despite fielding without Aishling Moloney the Premier County looked reasonably comfortable against Clare at Seán Treacy Park in Tipperary Town, but the contest lacked a real competitive edge given the fact that both sides expected to meet one another once more in the provincial decider.

Niamh Lonergan, Róisín Daly and Ava Fennessy were in sparking form for a Premier County side which led by nine points at the break (2-8 to 0-5) and by eleven early in the second half. Caitlin Kennedy scored 2-3 from play and was in sensational form while Anna Rose Kennedy was absolutely terrific and ran the show from centre-forward.

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.

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, carry a degree of confidence into this summer’s Munster and All-Ireland intermediate campaigns 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 recent division one 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), 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).

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