Date with destiny for Castlebar Mitchels

LGFA: All Ireland IFC Club Final

Ready to go: Castlebar Mitchels Ladies are looking to become All Ireland champions this weekend. Photo: Sportsfile.

Ready to go: Castlebar Mitchels Ladies are looking to become All Ireland champions this weekend. Photo: Sportsfile.

This coming Sunday footballers from Castlebar Mitchels will be opening their eyes and realising they may be just hours away from being All Ireland champions.

The Mitchels ladies' side from the county town will be making their way to Duggan Park in Ballinasloe where they will meet the might of Dublin and Leinster champions, St Sylvesters, in the current All Ireland Intermediate Club Championship Final. They head into this final looking to become the first Mayo side to win an All Ireland club title at this grade.

Fintan Keane's side have been picking up steam all the way through their county and provincial title wins and when it was really put up to them in the closing stages of their All Ireland semi-final win over Castleisand Desmonds, they were able to stand firm and get themselves over the line.

Mitchels will need to call on all of their capabilities in what promises to be a very tough afternoon against a quality side from the Capital. But with the likes of Kathryn Sullivan, Danielle Caldwell and Grainne Flynn, they have the players to run at their opponents from deep and cause them plenty of problems.

Their shooting was off the mark for long periods in the semi-final, but when it came to the crunch, they rattled in three goals in the space of five minutes, which ultimately proceeded to be the winning of the game. If Niamh Hughes and Laura Brody, who helped themselves to a goal each in that run, and Anna Tuohy, bring their shooting boots, they will be in with a big shout of getting over the line and bringing All Ireland glory back to Castlebar.

Standing in their way is going to be a very experienced and organised foe, in the shape of St Slyesters, who have a number of All Ireland winning Dublin players in their ranks, such as Sinead Aherne. The five-time All Ireland winner bagged 2-5 in her side's 4-11 to 2-5 win over Ulster champions Brian Borous in their semi-final win a fortnight ago. They also have in their ranks Niamh McEvoy, another player who won five All Ireland titles with Dublin in recent years, along with Niamh McEvoy and Kate Sullivan.

But Mitchels have plenty of quality in their own ranks alongside the aforementioned Sullivan and Caldwell, they have Orla Conlon who has plenty of inter-county experience with Mayo and will be well able to go toe-to-toe with the best that Sylvesters have to offer, while team captain Lisa McManamon is a very capable and experienced operator at this level and the likes of Kate Moore and Tanya Flynn will be well able to hit the high notes and put in big performances that Mitchels will need to get them over the line.

McManamon knows it will be a tough encounter but feels that her side have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the Dublin outfit, telling us. "From watching their semi-final, they are really strong and an attacking team likes ourselves, with plenty of county players there, like Nicole Owens, Kate Sullivan, Sinead Aherne, real well-experienced players.

"It will be a challenge, no All Ireland final is not going to be a challenge. Nobody gets to the All Ireland final for no reason, they will be a really tough outfit. They are a fit team, they are not going to give up easily and let us have it easy by any means, it will be a tough contest for both sides, we will be looking to put it up to them and win the game, that is essentially our goal.

"We know they have a very good team and it is just something we will have to figure out and if we get the match-ups right, we will give it a good fight."

The game throws in at 1.30pm in Duggan Park in Ballinasloe and it can be streamed live on the LGFA Facebook Page:


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