TEAM NEWS: SFC Round Three & IFC Final
TEAM NEWS: SFC Round Three & IFC Final
May 13, 2022
Leinster LGFA Set for Penultimate Weekend of TG4 Championships
By Aisling Clery
Leinster LGFA are facing the business end of this year’s TG4 Championships with silverware to be presented on Sunday afternoon as Kildare and Wexford battle it out in the Leinster LGFA Intermediate Final in Netwatch Cullen Park at 4pm.
Before that on Saturday afternoon, Meath host Westmeath in Páirc Tailteann at 3pm in the third round of the Leinster SFC. While Westmeath were defeated by Dublin in the opening round, Meath overcame Dublin in a pulsating battle in Parnell Park last Saturday. The stage is now set for the final round, with two teams set for battle in the Leinster SFC Final on May 28th in Croke Park.
Saturday, 14 May
Meath v Westmeath, Páirc Tailteann, 3pm, K Phelan, Programme available here: SFC Rd 3 Meath v Westmeath.pdf
Meath will be in buoyant mood as they get set to battle Westmeath in Round Three of the Leinster SFC. Not for the first time in recent times, Emma Duggan’s second half goal proved crucial as Meath defeated Dublin by 1-8 to 0-10 last Saturday. Visiting Parnell Park was surely a daunting task, but it was one the reigning All Ireland Champions took in at their ease with the Vikki Wall, Aoibhín Cleary and Mary Kate Lynch particularly impressive for the Royals.
This weekend, they are back in their own home ground, and they face a Westmeath team that need to put in an exceptional performance. In Ciara Blundell and Sarah Dillon, Westmeath have excellent attack-minded players contrary to what their opening round defeat to Dublin might suggest.
Eamonn Murray makes five changes to the team that defeated Dublin last weekend. In defence Áine Sheridan and Katie Newe come in to the full back line in place of Captain Shauna Ennis and Mary Kate Lynch. Niamh Gallogly earns a start ahead of Aoibheann Leahy while up front Kelsey Nesbitt and Orla Byrne are selected to start ahead of Niamh O’Sullivan and Emma Duggan.
For Westmeath, Michael Finneran makes one change to the team from their last time out with Karen Hegarty starting ahead of Anna Jones.
The sides last met in Christmas 2020 in the strangest of times; an empty Croke Park in the TG4 All Ireland Intermediate Final. After two years of heartbreak, Meath had won the All Ireland title, defeating their near neighbours by 2-17 to 4-5. Westmeath hit three of their four goals in a four minute spell and they will be hoping they can expose the Meath defence in a similar manner on Saturday, but the Royals may well have enough fire power to see them over the line.
MEATH: M McGuirk; A Sheridan, K Newe, O Duff; N Gallogly, E Troy, A Cleary; M O’Shaughness, O Lally; M Thynne, K Nesbitt, O Byrne; V Wall, S Grimes, E White.
WESTMEATH: A O’Donnell; M Fagan, M Scally, F Coyle; A O’Malley, A Alford, C Kelly; V Carr, T Dillon; C Blundell, S Dillon, K Boyce-Jordan; K Hegarty, K Giles, L Power.
Sunday, 15 May
Kildare v Wexford, Netwatch Cullen Park, 4pm, P McCaughey
Reigning Leinster IFC Champions, Wexford, will be hoping to retain their Provincial title when they face Kildare on Sunday afternoon. Wexford were 1-11 to 1-08 winners over Meath in the 2019 IFC Final. However, you have to go back to 2016 for the last time Kildare won the IFC, they defeated none other than Wexford in that final by 1-18 to 2-11. Of that 2016 team, just three names survive to Sunday’s panel of thirty; Rachel Cribbin, Shauna Kendrick and Ellen Dowling.
Kildare defeated Offaly by 5-14 to 3-6 in last week’s semi-final in a particularly impressive performance for Sean Finnegan’s team. Neasa Dooley hit a hat trick for the Lilies while Orlaith Sullivan and Grace Clifford also found the net in a game where Kildare led by 4-06 to 1-03 at the break. Kildare survived a late onslaught from Offaly where Sarah Kehoe and Marie Byrne both found the net late on but Kildare hung on. The Lilies will be wary of playing right to the full time whistle, especially in light of the manner in which Wexford won their semi-final.
In a dramatic comeback, which saw them come back from eleven points down, Wexford overcame a fancied Laois team in Portlaoise. Playing against the breeze, Wexford found the going tough and trailed by 2-05 to 4-07 at the break. Aisling Murphy and Tara Doyle hit the net in a frantic opening half where Laois held the upper hand. In the second half, Wexford staged a remarkable comeback with an unanswered 2-05 in the final quarter forcing extra time. Tara Doyle was instrumental in this, and Kildare will no doubt have a plan to nullify the threat she possesses. However, Wexford have players that can deliver big performances and players like Aisling Murphy, Caitríona Murray and Bernie Breen are key to Lizzy Kent and John Nolan’s team.
Seán Finnegan has named an unchanged team to face Wexford in Sunday’s final while Wexford have made just one change with Amy Wilson set to start ahead of Kellie Kearney who drops to the bench. Sunday’s tie is set to be an enthralling contest and a fitting end to an exciting IFC.
KILDARE: D McGinn; C Nugent, L Lenehan, R Cribbin; M Doherty, L Gilbert, L Murtagh; G Clifford (C), H McLoughlin; C Wheeler, A Rattigan, C Sullivan; N Dooley, O Sullivan, L Curran.
WEXFORD: S Merrigan; S Harding Kenny, A Halligan, S Murphy; O Kehoe, R Murphy (C), C Donnelly, B Breen, C Banville; S Hamilton, C Murray, E O’Brien; A Wilson, A Murphy, T Doyle.
Photo Credit: Sportsfile