Gala All Ireland Intermediate Semi-finals
Saturday, August 21st 2010
Wexford v Limerick, 2.30pm, Ardfinnan, Mike O’Kelly, Cork
A repeat pairing of this year’s League encounter, a fixture which Limerick lost by six points. Phelim Macken’s charges will undoubtedly use that as extra motivation on Saturday. Boosted by the return of star player Niamh Mulcahy and with the addition of a Munster title in their back pockets, it is a Limerick side high on confidence. Key performances will be needed from Mulcahy, centre back Aoifa Sheehan, sister and captain Vera along with the full forward trio of Michelle Casey, Orla Curtin and Joanne O’Gorman.
For Wexford, current League Division Two champions, the opportunity to join their senior counterparts on September 12th will be a massive incentive. Manager Karen Barnes has the luxury of a settled side and influential performances will be required from centre back Louise Codd, corner back Colleen Atkinson while upfront Ciara O’Connor and Siona Nolan will be expected to pull the strings.
Wexford’s greater experience will make the difference.
Derry v Offaly, 2.30pm, Clones, Owen Elliott, Antrim
An exciting encounter in store with two high scoring teams vying for a final spot on September 12th. If Offaly qualify it would be their third appearance in a row at GAA HQ. When the sides last met, Offaly came away with the spoils winning their league fixture 0-15 to 1-6. However, the Oak Leaf County have racked up three wins from three in the qualifiers, amassing 7-42 en route and they approach this tie with a healthy level of confidence. Grainne McGoldrick, an All-Star midfielder will be relied upon to pull the strings from the centre with Katrina O’Kane leading at full back. Upfront, Jane Carey with wing forward Karen Kielt should take up the bulk of the scoring duties.
Offaly, manager Joachim Kelly will need to ensure that his midfield partnership of Emma Dunne and Marion Crean break even while Michaela Morkan will be required to command operations from centre back. Elaine Dermody, at full forward has been in scintillating form all season and more of the same is expected on Saturday.
A difficult encounter to call and it will depend upon the ability of both sets of defences to curb two exciting forward lines. Offaly by the slightest of margins.