Fr. Meachair Cup Semi-Finals
Saturday February 13th, Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence, Bekan, Co. Mayo
AIT v Tralee
Referee: James Judge (Mayo)
Both teams have made huge strides since last years competition as neither IT made the Fr.Meachair Cup semi-finals. ITT faced Munster neighbours LIT in the first round of the competition. In a high scoring encounter, ITT prevailed with a six point win over LIT to top the group as GMIT awarded two walkovers to LIT and ITT. The Offaly pair of Kelly Sammon and Dierdre Cashen in defence will create a difficult task for any forward to attempt to break through. Clare native attackers Vera Loughnane and Clodagh O'Halloran are hot favourites to be Tralee's top scorers. Kilmessan star Kelly O'Gorman will also be the menace on the edge of the square forcing AIT to be touch tight inside the '21 yard line.
AIT on the other hand, experienced a tougher championship campaign. The midlands based college finished level against top of their group TCD and defeated last years finalist's St.Mary's of Belfast wit ease. A great intake of talented first years along with he help of Regional Development coordinator of Westmeath, Roscommon, Longford and Offaly, Lizzie Flynn will be hoping her expertise can bring silverware back to AIT for the first time since 2009 when AIT were crowned Purcell Champions. The half forward line paring of Kilkenny's Eimear Fennelly and Galway's Rachel Monaghan are a huge threat both from distance and close to goal to punish any mistake. These proficient players will also be hoping to pick out Niamh Lawless as Amy Caulfield will call the shots in defence.
Like the Ashbourne and Purcell Cup, The Fr.Meachair competition is set to be a very close clash and with a lot of up and coming stars on both teams, expect a very close result.
LIT v Trinity
Newly promoted O’Mhaolagáin Cup winners LIT have gone from strength to strength this year after adjusting to the Fr.Meachair championship and qualifying for a semi-final spot of the Fr.Meachair competition. Star players such as Sarah Carey, Anita Forde and Clodagh Buckley along with sisters Clodagh and Alanna Cahill will feature for the Limerick IT this weekend in Connacht GAA for the Ashbourne Weekend. Playing in a grade up from last year’s campaign, LIT faced IT Tralee in round one and experienced a very high scoring encounter with ITT coming away the win by six points. The Limerick based college then were awarded their second points from a GMIT walkover meaning they finished second in the group and faced top of group A Trinity College.
The first round of the championship proved very tough for Trinity College as they travelled to Athlone IT only to draw the game. In a tip for tap physical encounter, it ended even-steven in AIT at 2-11 apiece. Dublin’s Allie Kelly and Sarah Maher play huge roles for Trinity with Sarah Cunneen, Katie Browne and Brid Doran all tenacious forwards. In their second week Trinity enjoyed a bye round and then faced 2015 Fr.Meachair finalists St.Mary’s of Belfast. On home turf the Dublin College comfortably dismissed St.Mary’s by seven points to top the group on score difference over AIT and book their semi-final spot against LIT.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game, it will be a physical encounter. Trinity’s experience could carry them over the line but that’s not to be weary of LIT’s no fear attitude. Throwing in at 4:45pm this game will be all to play for as a All-Ireland final position awaits less than 24 hours later.
Saturday February 13th
Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence, Bekan, Co. Mayo
3pm Purcell Cup Semi-Final CIT v DIT
3pm Purcell Cup Semi-Final Maynooth University v IT Carlow
3pm Fr. Meachair Cup Semi-Final AIT v IT Tralee
4.45pm Ashbourne Cup Semi-Final WIT v UL
4.45pm Ashbourne Cup Semi-Final UCC v Mary I
4.45pm Fr. Meachair Cup Semi-Final LIT v Trinity
Sunday February 14th
Gort GAA, Co. Galway
11am Fr. Meachair Cup Final
1pm Purcell Cup Final
3pm Ashbourne Cup Final