DIVISION FOUR – KILDARE V WESTMEATH 1.30PM
EXCITEMENT is rising in
Kildare qualified for the final courtesy of their hard-fought win over Tyrone on Sunday. And the hope for the Lilywhites is to deliver on their three-year plan.
“”Three years ago we couldn’t fulfil our fixtures. So, we developed a three-year plan to get ourselves back in the frame,”” explained County Chairperson Margaret Sexton.
“”We are rebuilding, and step one is getting to the final. Our success is based on a lot of underage players, but we also have experience in the form of Melanie and Reitin Treacy.””
Kildare will be hoping to turn the tables on an earlier two-goal league defeat to Westmeath in February.
“”We know Westmeath are tough,”” added Sexton. “”But we are optimistic. We are hoping our centre forward Regina Gorman will be fit, she picked up a leg injury on Sunday.””
Westmeath, meanwhile, are endeavouring to regain momentum too. Having won Division Three two years ago, they are anxious to move back up nearer to the top. County secretary and selector Tommy Hackett says a full strength side should help the
“”In 2007 we won the Division three final and the Nancy Murray Cup. Last year wasn’t a good one for us, so our aim this year is to win the Nancy Murray Cup, the Division four League final and get to the
Spearheading their challenge will be ace attacker Pamela Greville (Captain) and her sister Sandra Greville who plays in goals, and Denise McGrath who is also fast making her name in the forward line.
DIVISION THREE – DOWN V LAOIS 3.15PM
There should be little between Down and Laois in the Division Three final (3.15pm). With The Harps achieving an unbelievable hat-trick of All Ireland club titles last season, they will be anxious to add another national title at county level. Fergal Cuddy knows he has the players having been beaten by the narrowest of margins in both the league semi-final and All Ireland championship semi-final in 2008.
Catriona Downey was part and parcel of that set-up, but this year because of a knee injury is forced to watch the action from the sideline.
“”I’ve had one operation, and I am due to have another,”” she explained. However, Catriona is now a keen observer from the sidelines.
“”The hunger this year is derived from losing to Clare by a point in the All Ireland junior championship last year and we also lost to Antrim by a point in the league semi-final.
“”We would have more or less the same panel of players, and the same management, so we are aware what is needed to go that bit further. The Harps regaining the All Ireland junior club final is another incentive.””
Laois, proving that Camogie is going in the right direction within the O’Moore County have increased their club participation from five to seven clubs. On Sunday they will look to the experience of the O’Mahony sisters, Louise, Elaine and -ine to write them into the history books.
When these sides met at the Meath venue a few weeks ago in the group stages of the league, Laois came out on top, albeit by the minimum. So, no doubt, revenge will be on the mind of the Down ladies. They have trained well, and according to County Secretary Ursula Quinn this match has æall the ingredients of being a thriller.’
“”We would be confident enough, but we know the Harps have a lot of talent, so winning the All Ireland club title is going to benefit them. The girls have trained well under Joe Baldwin, and we would have many of the team that won the All Ireland minor B title three years ago.””
Players like Sara Louise Carr, who will be joined by her sister Fionnuala – daughters of legendary footballer Ross Carr. This season sees the return of stalwart Mairin McAleenan to the Down jersey and her input along with Catherine McGourty should ensure a thriller.