Imperials on the cusp of national title

Women's National League Division One final

Tralee Imperials v

Drimnagh Dynamos

Saturday sees the finish of the Ladies National League Division 1 season with a fitting final between the top two teams in the division.

Imperials have had another impressive season, finishing top of the table for a second straight season is a terrific accomplishment. With just one league defeat to their name all year, against Castleisland, Imperials have conquered all others before them.

Led by their captain Sinead Mackessy their strength is most certainly their squad which has provided them with inspiration at different times throughout the season. Emma Sherwood has been exceptional and her athleticism is key for Imperials chances of victory.

The experience of Lynn Jones and Linda Raymond has proven vital over the last fuve games and no doubt these two players will have to have a big impact on the game. Indeed if you take these two players out of the team no other player is over the age of 22 which highlights their youth. The workrate of Lisa Brennan and Amy Fitzgerald has been incredible all season.

Meave Barry has been one of the best centres in the league and can take over a game at any time. Young point guard Deirdre Kearney has a great understanding with Barry and will always give 100% on the floor.

The team has welcomed back Deirdre Geaney from an injury sustained in the National Cup final and she is now a very important player for them, playing impressively in the semi-final victory over Portlaoise last weekend. There is a slight injury concern over sharp shooter Aisling O'Mahony but she should be fit for the final.

The addition of Under 18 players Clare Brennan and Laura Rogers has given the team a certain depth which they have not had before.

In contrast Drimnagh have had a very up and down season. Since dropping down from Superleague last season they have struggled with some surprising losses. The highlight for them however is surely the National Cup final victory over Imperials in January.

They have brought back some of their experienced Superleague players which makes them a dangerous team. Also a factor will be the large home support that Drimnagh will bring to Tallaght while Imperials will be hoping for a large Kerry support to make the trip to Dublin.

In all Imperials will be looking for some revenge for their National Cup final defeat. Tip-off is at 1pm.


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