For five of the past six years, the All Ireland Ladies senior club championship has been taken home by one of this year’s finalists. And on Sunday it will be making it’s way to either Donaghmoyne from Monaghan for a third time or back west with green and red ribbons on its handles to Carnacon for the fourth time.
These sides have met before in an All Ireland final when the ladies from Monaghan claimed their first title in 2006. Since then Donaghmoyne took the title again in 2009, while Carnacon have cemented their place at the top of the ladies’ game with a hat-trick of wins in 2007, 2008, and again last year in 2011. On Sunday Carnacon will head northeast to Sean O’Heslin Park, in Ballinamore in Leitrim, for the 1.30pm throw in as they look to claim their fourth All Ireland championship and their second back to back title.
Quality throughout Carancon team
In their semi-final in Islandeady a fortnight ago, Carnacon were well tested by Cork and Munster champions Inch Rovers over the 60 minutes before they ran out four points winners on a score of 0-14 to 0-10. As ever, Carnacon were led on the scoring charts in that game by the formidable Cora Staunton who scored 11 of her side’s 14 points. The Carnacon sharpshooter has become so synonymous with excellence in the game over the years, that you expect to see a double digit score in brackets beside her name when reading a match report of a game she is playing for club or county. Once again Staunton will be Carnacon’s main weapon of choice in attack on Sunday, and as she has proved game in game out, either from play or from dead balls, there is no-one deadlier than she in the game. But, even if Donaghmoyne get somewhat to grips with the threat that Staunton poses, they will have plenty of other players to worry about in the Carnacon attacking arsenal. Fiona McHale has been there and seen it all before for club and county and will not be found wanting on Sunday. Aoife Brennan contributed three points to Carnacon’s total in their semi-final, and this young sharpshooter is someone who has a long future ahead of her.
The case for the defence
In the middle of the park, Claire Egan and Martha Carter have all the qualities and experience that you could ask for from a midfield pairing. The Carnacon duo are more than capable of taking the game by the scruff of the neck, driving their side forward in attack, and plugging gaps at the back in defence if needs be.
In defence Noelle Tierney will be leading the line from the back in the number three shirt. She will have plenty of quality support from the likes of Sharon McGing, Caroline McGing, and Aoife Loftus in the defence. On the sideline Jimmy Corbett and Beatrice Casey will once again be the guiding force for the sideline for the Carnacon ladies as they look to make it two in a row and All Ireland title number four.