Underdogs Tipperary face Galway in All-Ireland ladies football championship

Self-belief important, says manager Shane Ronayne

Caitlin Kennedy

Caitlin Kennedy of Tipperary is challenged by Galway’s Andrea Trill during the Lidl Ladies Football National League division one game between the counties at Tuam Stadium last March

Underdogs Tipperary will have it all to do this Saturday, when they face last year’s senior All-Ireland finalists Galway at 3pm at the LIT Gaelic Grounds, Limerick in the opening round of the TG4 All-Ireland series.

The game will be shown live on TG4 and Tipperary manager Shane Ronayne admits that Galway are favourites. 

“They have serious pace and a lot of experience and they have some very classy forwards in the Leonard sisters.

 “Training is going well. Róisín Howard has been added to the panel since the league and Anna Rose Kennedy has resumed full training,” said Ronayne.

Last November Anna Rose Kennedy suffered a cruciate injury but made a quicker than expected recovery, returning to play in the latter stages of the club championship. 

He admitted it took her a couple of weeks to recover from the county final defeat by Cahir but  she had trained fully last week and was happy with her progress.

The Tipp boss said that while he was happy how training was going, he admitted that Covid-19 had obviously caused some difficulties and disruptions for them. 

“Challenge matches are banned now under the new restrictions and I had hoped to have a challenge game before we faced Galway. 

“But obviously that couldn’t happen. But all the counties are in the same boat.”

He said that they were aware that they would be the underdogs going into this game, having suffered a 1-12 to 0-4 defeat at the hands of Galway in the national league earlier this year in Tuam. 

“We would be very disappointed with how we performed that day, but we were missing a number of players and we have a lot of work done since then. 

“Galway would have to be the favourites, though. 

“They are the beaten All- Ireland senior finalists from 2019 and I know they would be disappointed with how they performed on that occasion.

“Look, we have nothing to lose and we don’t have the threat of relegation hanging over us. 

“We have Aisling McCarthy now and Róisín Howard, both of whom we didn’t have in the league campaign.

“I think if the girls believe in themselves we have every chance.”

The panel announced earlier this year is as follows - Anna Rose Kennedy, Caitlin Kennedy and Emma Morrissey (all Aherlow), Laura Dillon and Samantha Lambert  (Ardfinnan), Lauren Fitzpatrick (Ballymacarbry), Orla O’Dwyer (Boherlahan), Aishling Moloney, Aisling McCarthy, Róisín Howard and Rosanna Kiely ( all Cahir), Orla Winston, Anna Carey and Ava Fennessey (Clonmel Commercials), Carrie Davey, Kate Davey, Lucy Spillane, Niamh Hayes (Fethard). 

Emer McCarthy and Megan Heffernan (Galtee Rovers), Rachel Sweeney (Holycross/Ballycahill), Katie Cunningham (Lattin Cullen Emly), Cora Maher and Emma Cronin (Moyle Rovers), Ellen Moore, Muireann Lloyd and Róisín Daly (Moyne Templetouhy), Angela McGuigan (Sliabh na mBan), Aine Delaney and Maria Curley (Templemore), Marie Creedon, Sarah Fryday and Sarah McKevitt (Thurles Sarsfields).

For more Tipperary sport read Dorothy Wall shines for Irish women's rugby team