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Familiar foes will square off in Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada in Carrick on Shannon on Sunday at 1.30pm, with the Dolores Tyrrell Cup up for grabs. For the second time in as many years, Mayo’s Carnacon will square off against Donaghmoyne from Monaghan for the right to be crowned the best club side in Ireland. The game also sees the meeting of the last two All Ireland champions with Carnacon preceding the Monaghan ladies as the holders of the title, having won their fourth All Ireland senior club title in 2011 with a win over Na Fianna from Dublin. While the Mayo ladies are going for their fifth national title on Sunday, the Monaghan ladies are looking for their fourth, having won the title in 2006 and 2009 to go with their win last year. The side from Farney County also have the upper hand over Carnacon when it comes to final meetings, having beaten the Mayo side twice on the big day, last year and back in 2006 when they claimed their first national senior crown.
It is one of those things that seems to never change like the winter weather, come this time of the year Carnacon will be on the hunt for an All Ireland title. On Sunday at home in Clogher the standard bearers of senior ladies football in the county are once again looking to book their place in an All Ireland final. Standing in their way are the Laois and Lenister champions, Mountmellick Sarsfields.
It’s a case of all roads lead to Ballinlough this weekend for ladies football in Mayo, with Carancon and Louisburgh competing in the Connacht ladies senior and junior finals respectively. Tomorrow lunch time, Carnacon will get the show on the road when they take on Kilerrin/Clonberne in the senior final at 1.30pm. The Mayo girls have breezed through the championship so far after accounting for Castlebar Mitchels in the county final, then Roscommon’s Strokestown in the quarter-final and St Nathy’s from Sligo in the semi-final. Carnacon who are still under the guidance of Jimmy Corbett and Beatrice Casey are looking for their 15th provincial title in the last 17 years and eighth in a row. With Cora Staunton in rude scoring form and Claire Egan expected back after injury combined with the likes of Fiona McHale and Noelle Tierney they have the more than enough punch to see off the Galway champions on Saturday afternoon.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, Mayo were the dominant force in ladies’ football, winning all before and behind them. While Mayo slipped down the pecking order over the past decade, Cork stepped up and grabbed the top spot in the pecking order and have remained there more or less ever since.
Mayo will face a familiar foe on Sunday when they renew their acquaintance with Monaghan in the Tesco Homegrown National Football League division one semi-final. The girls from the Farney county are going into the game with a 100 per cent record from their seven league games so far this season, which includes a win over Mayo back in March in Aughnamullen where they came out 1-15 to 2-6 winners in a re-fixed game from earlier in the spring.
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.
Just under two months after they took apart the challenge of Galway in the division two league final, the Mayo ladies will once again face off against the Tribeswomen with some silverware at stake. On Sunday afternoon in McHale Park at 4pm both sides will go toe to toe in the Connacht final. In that final Mayo ran out 4-17 to 2-7 winners with Cora Staunton once again leading the line for Mayo scoring 2-11 of that total. That win propelled Mayo back into division one after a year in a second tier and has set them up well for a crack at Sunday’s Connacht final.
Having picked up three ladies’ All Ireland senior club titles inside the past decade Carnacon are back in the final on Sunday and looking to turn that triple of championships into a quadruple. The girls in green and red have made their way back to the final this year and after narrowly losing out to Inch Rovers from Cork in last year’s showpiece, they will have extra motivation to make this All Ireland number four for the central Mayo club. Standing in their way in Ballymahon in two days’ time will be Dublin and Leinster champions, Na Fianna. The Dublin ladies saw off the challenge of Munster and Cork champions Donoughmore by four points at the start of the month.
At least half a dozen Mayo players were nursing injuries this week according to Mayo manager James Horan. Speaking at the press night in the lead up to next week’s semi-final showdown, Horan confirmed that Trevor Mortimer, David Clarke, Aidan and Seamus O’Shea, Mark Ronaldson and Peadar Gardiner were all nursing knocks at the moment.