Presentation Milltown and Mercy Mounthawk Tralee schools bid for All-Ireland Junior and Senior football glory

Kerry senior team make five changes to team to play Galway in National League final ‘dress rehearsal’ on Sunday

Presentation Milltown captain Aideen O'Brien, left, and Amy O'Connor of Dunmore Community School, Galway - whose schools meet in the Lidl All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools Junior 'C' finals on Saturday at the Captains' Day in Croke Park. Photo by Sportsfile

Paul BrennanKerryman

The footballers of Presentation Milltown and Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee bid for All-Ireland glory this weekend and next as part of six eagerly-anticipated Lidl All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools finals.

The Junior A, B and C Finals are scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday) with the Senior A, B and C Finals due to be played on Saturday, April 1.

On a weekend when the county’s senior teams meet in the National League, ahead of a Division 1 final at Croke Park on April 15, the Lidl All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools Junior C final is also a Kerry versus Galway affair as Presentation Milltown pit their wits against Dunmore CS.

Presentation Milltown will hope to keep the silverware in the Kingdom following Mercy Mounthawk’s 2022 win, as Dunmore CS, Senior C winners in 2005, aim to become the first Galway school to win the Junior C title since Coláiste Bhaile Chláir in 2017.

In their respective semi-finals, Milltown notched 8-12 in their victory over Ardee CS from Louth, who registered 5-10 themselves, while Dunmore had a narrow one-point win against Cavan opponents Bailieborough.

The Junior ‘C’ final will be played in Fethard Town Park, Tipperary at 6.30pm.

The Junior ‘B’ final (1pm) has Maynooth Education Campus (Kildare) taking on St Ronan's College, Lurgan (Armagh) while the Junior ‘A’ final (3pm) sees Loreto College (Cavan) playing St Mary's, Midleton (Cork), both at the GAA National Games Development Centre in Abbotstown.

The following weekend the Senior finals take place with Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee in action against Roscommon town opponents Convent of Mercy in the ‘B’ final. Mercy Mounthawk were Junior C winners last year and will now aim for Senior glory against Convent of Mercy, who are two-time Senior A winners (2009 and 1989).

The ‘A’ final sees Sacred Heart School, Westport (Mayo) play Loreto St Michael’s, Navan (Meath), while the ‘C’ Final is between Virginia College (Cavan) and St Mary’s, Naas (Kildare).

Venues and times for the Senior finals on April first will be confirmed next week. The LGFA and competition sponsors, Lidl Ireland, have confirmed that the three senior finals will be live-streamed, with further viewing details to follow.


Kerry make five changes to team to play Galway on Sunday

Meanwhile, there may be some shadow boxing on show at Tuam Stadium on Sunday (2pm), with both Kerry and Galway already qualified for the Lidl National Football League Division 1 Final at Croke Park on April 15.

The fixtures calendar has thrown up this coincidence whereby both counties must take each other on before meeting again three weeks later – with national silverware on the line then.

Galway remain the only unbeaten county in Division 1 and will be anxious to maintain that record, while Kerry fell to their first defeat of the season against Cork on St Patrick’s Day.

Even though both teams will meet again soon, they have named strong starting line-ups for this League Final dress rehearsal. From the team that lost out to Cork on St Patrick’s Day, Kerry have made five changes in personnel and have gone with a strong starting 15.

Aishling O’Connell, Lorraine Scanlon, Niamh Ní Chonchúir, captain Síofra O’Shea and top scorer Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh return to the team, with Ciara O’Brien, Aoife Dillane, Amy Harrington, Rachel Dwyer and Hannah O’Donoghue sitting this one out.

Galway have made just one change from the team that beat Mayo to secure their final place, with Aoife O’Rourke replacing Roisin Leonard in the full-forward line.

Kerry team to play Galway: C Butler; É Lynch, K Cronin, C Murphy; A O’Connell, E Costello, C Lynch; L Scanlon, M O’Connell; N Carmody, N Ní Chonchúir, A Galvin; F Tangney, S O’Shea, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.

Galway team to play Kerry: K Connolly; K Geraghty, S Ní Loingsigh, E Gavin; C Cooney, N Ward, A Molloy; A Davoren, O Divilly; L Coen, E Noone, L Noone; A O’Rourke, L Ward, K Slevin.