The county senior ladies' football final between Kilkerrin-Clonberne and Corofin outfit takes place in Moyullen on Saturday (3pm ).
The current champions Kilkerrin-Clonberne are hot favourites as they seek an historic six in a row of county titles this weekend, and based on their 2-14 to 1-06 victory over a hard working Claregalway side in Annaghdown on Sunday, they will be hard to stop.
Kilkerrin-Clonberne have a number of county players in their ranks, such as team captain Louise Ward, flying wing-forward Olivia Divilly, her sister Siobhán and goalkeeper Lisa Murphy. Their other county player, Nicola Ward, is out of action after having knee surgery recently.
They also have an experienced management team. With Kevin Reidy and All-Ireland winning county minor manager Kieran Collins involved, alongside Anne Marie Boyle and John Boyle, they will leave no stone unturned in an effort to collect another senior title.
Their game with Claregalway last weekend was not that easy on the eye, with both teams playing a sweeper in their defence, which meant that free flowing expressive football was at a premium.
There was a fair bit of tough play with both teams having players yellow carded and Chloe Miskell from the winners side also received her marching orders from referee Tom Browne.
There was little between the sides in the first half, but Claregalway were too dependent on young Andrea Trill for scores, and she hit 0-3 (2fs ). She had good support from the impressive and lively Megan Glynn, whose strong running was noteworthy.
Deirdre Brennan also caught the eye for Darragh Leonard’s team. and when she expertly volleyed a goal on 37 minutes, the teams were level at 1-5 to 0-8, and it was all to play for.
They also had an extra player for a few minutes too as Kilkerrin’s Lisa Gannon was sin-binned.
However, it was the champions who took over. A fine goal by Lynsey Noone and a few pointed frees from Olivia Divilly put them firmly back in control before young Chloe Miskell, who had been playing well and had raised two white flags, was red-carded, leaving Claregalway with two extra players.
Despite that numerical advantage Kilkerrin-Clonberne kicked on. County minor star Evan Noone came in and hit 1-1 to leave the result beyond doubt.
Claregalway had good performances in defence from full-back Eimile Gavin, Fabienne Cooney and Brennan, while Trill and Megan Glynn did well up front. However, they can have no complaints as the better and more experienced team won with sterling displays from Sarah Gormally, Chloe Costello, Aisling Walsh, the Divilly and Noone sisters, and Ailish Morrisey up front.
Corofin beat Maigh Cuilinn
The first county semi-final in Annaghdown was a real belter of a game with some superb score-taking and support play from both sides before Brian O’Donovan’s Corofin won by 1-23 to 2-19 after extra time.
The final 20 minutes of normal time was scintillating stuff with the lead changing constantly before late frees from county captain Tracey Leonard for Corofin and then Moycullen’s Shannon Keady tied the game at 1-18 (Corofin ) to Moycullen’s 2-15.
The west board club, which has a young side, was forced to line out without county player Ailbhe Davoren, who is out with a knee injury, and midfielder Emma Carter (shoulder ).
However, very well trained this season by David Carter, they had solid displays from Roisín Ní Chonghaile, Jean Hynes, Ellen Power, Áine McDonagh, Catherine Connaire, Shannon Keady and the hard-running Katie Carter.
Corofin had a little bit too much experience and guile when the chips were down, and players such as Roísin Leonard, Aoife Coen, Tracey Leonard, Rachel Burke and Karen Connolly were crucial to them getting to the final this Saturday.
Also on this Saturday in Moycullen (1pm ) is the intermediate final between St Brendan's vs Tuam Cortoon.
The Junior A final between Naomh Anna Leitimoir and St Mary's takes place in Oughterard at 5pm.