Ladies look to stop Red Hand challenge

Ladies' Football: All Ireland SFC qualifier

Kicking for glory: Niamh Kelly and her team-mates are looking to book a place in the All Ireland quarter-finals. Photo: Sportsfile

Kicking for glory: Niamh Kelly and her team-mates are looking to book a place in the All Ireland quarter-finals. Photo: Sportsfile

The Mayo senior ladies' football team will be looking to pick up the pieces of their heartbreaking loss to Galway in the Connacht final a couple of weeks ago when they take on Tyrone tomorrow in the All Ireland qualifiers series with a place up for grabs in the All Ireland quarter-finals.

Frank Browne's troops will make the journey to Ballinamore in County Leitrim tomorrow afternoon to take on the Ulster side in a game that will throw in at 2pm. The teams have already met in the league this year with Mayo running out 0-12 to 1-4  winners in Swinford. Cora Staunton was in fine form that day scoring nine of Mayo's points, she brought that great form with her into the Connacht final where she kicked an amazing 1-15 in their narrow one point  loss to Galway in Elverys MacHale Park.

Eight of the Mayo side who started their league encounter with Tyrone back at the start of March were in the starting 15 for the recent Connacht final defeat. Browne has used a good mix of youth and experience in his starting side this season with Staunton, along with other older heads like team captain Fiona McHale, Martha Carter, Yvonne Byrne, and Helena Lohan, mixing well with younger faces like Niamh Kelly, Danielle Caldwell, Rachel Kearns and Orna Conlan. Mayo were also missing the services of Claire Egan for the provincial final defeat as she completes a comeback from a serious knee injury she picked up playing rugby last winter.

Mayo will take on the Red Hand ladies who were knocked out of the Ulster championships by the eventual Ulster champions Donegal, back in June, and they will have been chomping at the bit to get another crack at the championship. Their star player in their last meeting with Mayo was Gemma Begley, who scored 1-2 that day, while Lorraine Conwell was another big player for the Tyrone ladies that day.

With a place in the last four at stake, in this winner takes all encounter it should be an intriguing tussle. Browne who is back in charge of Mayo this year for a second crack at All Ireland glory, is a notoriously meticulous planner and he will have his charges well tuned up for the challenge that lies ahead.

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