Tipperary captain Samantha Lambert pictured accepting the Enda McDonnell Memorial Cup from Fergal McDonnell following the recent Munster final. Picture: Anois Photography
The groups are taking shape for the up-coming TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies Football Championship - Munster champions Tipperary are seeded in group two alongside Longford, Wicklow and the side which loses next weekend's Leinster decider between Meath and Wexford.
In total fourteen teams will contest the championship and battle for the right to land the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup in the All-Ireland final on Sunday, September 15 at Croke Park, Dublin. The championship will comprise two groups of four and two groups of three with the top two in each group progressing to the quarter-finals.
Tipperary have been drawn in group two alongside Longford, Wicklow and the loser of the Leinster final (Meath v Wexford). Tipperary face the Leinster final runners-up on the weekend of July 14, Longford on the weekend of July 21 and Wicklow on the weekend of July 28.
Group one features Down, Sligo, Limerick and Kildare, group three features Clare, the Leinster champions and Laois while Roscommon, Leitrim and Offaly make up group four.
The quarter-final draw (weekend of August 4) is as follows: first in group one v second in group four, first in group two v second in group three, first in group three v second in group two and first in group four v second in group one. Meanwhile the semi-finals are scheduled to take place on the week-ending August 18.
Tipperary were seeded in the draw for the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies Football Championship since they were recently crowned Munster champions at Cappamore following a 0-20 to 1-4 final win over Clare. Tipperary progressed to that provincial final following victories against Limerick (10-22 to 0-4) and Clare (2-15 to 2-11).
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, will carry a degree of confidence into the All-Ireland intermediate campaign 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.
Tipperary named the following match day panel ahead of the recent Munster final versus Clare: Lauren Fitzpatrick (Ballymacarbry, Waterford), Lucy Spillane (Fethard), Maria Curley (Templemore), Emma Cronin (Moyle Rovers), Niamh Martin (Sliabh na mBan), Samantha Lambert (Ardfinnan), Orla O’Dwyer (Boherlahan), Aisling McCarthy (Cahir), Anna Rose Kennedy (Aherlow), Ava Fennessy (Clonmel Commercials), Aishling Moloney (Cahir), Courtney Lonergan (Clonmel Commercials), Caoimhe Condon (Brian Ború’s), Caitlin Kennedy (Aherlow), Róisín Daly (Moyne-Templetuohy), Rachel Sweeney (Holycross), Anna Carey (Clonmel Commercials), Laura Dillon (Ardfinnan), Niamh Lonergan (Moyle Rovers), Emma Buckley (Cahir), Emma Morrissey (Aherlow), Elaine Fitzpatrick (Templemore), Angela McGuigan (Sliabh na mBan), Orla Winston (Clonmel Commercials), Rosanna Kiely (Cahir), Muireann Lloyd (Moyne-Templetuohy), Marie Creedon (Thurles Sarsfields), Katie Cunningham (Latin-Cullen), Bríd Condon (Aherlow) & Cora Maher (Moyle Rovers).
To keep up to date with all the sporting news in Tipperary please click here - to follow the Tipperary Star sports team on twitter please click here - to follow sports editor Brian McDonnell on Twitter please click here. Alternatively, you can also like the Tipperary Star on Facebook.