Sunday 25 February 2018

Ladies Football Previews

TG4 All-Ireland Senior Ladies Final

Cork v Dublin, 4.0, Croke Park, M Farrelly (Cavan).* TG4 Live (11.40-17.45).

Dublin have only won one (2010) while Cork have eight women chasing their ninth, including dual stars Briege Corkery, Angela Walsh and Rena Buckley.

They drew initially in the league and, in the final, Dublin were up at half-time but them failed to score for 21 minutes and Cork veterans like Geraldine O'Flynn and Val Mulcahy dragged them across the line.

Dublin have let big leads slip to Cork far too often before but their minor stars of 2010 and 2012 now bolster their experienced full-back and full-forwards lines.

Their manager Gregory McGonigle was in charge of Monaghan when they were only pipped, by a point, by Cork last year, so he has valuable insight.

The longer Cork's extraordinary run continues the likelier it is to fall, but, since the league final, they've got Nollaig Cleary back and they beat Ulster champions Armagh by 14 points with a stunning semi-final display. Eamonn Ryan's Rebelettes are going nowhere yet.

Odds: Cork 1/2, Dublin 15/8, Draw 9/1.

Verdict: Cork.

TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies Football Final

Down v Fermanagh, Croke Park, 1.45, M Doherty (Wexford).*TG4 live.

Fermanagh have a lot of Littles! Sisters Caroline and Sharon star upfront, sister-in-law Tara plays and her husband Aidy is assistant manager.

They've racked up 22 goals en route but will have to reverse a trend here as Down have beaten them three times this year, including the Ulster final. Led by Kyla Trainor and dual star Karen McMullan, the Mournes got the semi-final they needed, an extra-time victory over Leitrim.

Odds: Down 4/5, Fermanagh 6/5, Draw 8/1.

Verdict: Down.

TG4 All-Ireland Junior Ladies Football Final

New York v Wexford, Croke Park, 11.45, Y Duffy (Cavan).*TG4 live.

Two sides who have come agonisingly close before. Wexford (with dual star Fiona Rochford) lost to Offaly last year while New York lost a replay to Wicklow in 2011. These junior finals are often very close and those odds on a draw look extremely generous.

Odds: Wexford 10/11, New York evens, Draw 8/1. Verdict: Wexford.

Irish Independent

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