As the young footballers of Intermediate School Killorglin and St Brigids Killarney prepare for their All Ireland Finals we preview the big games ahead for both sides.
All Ireland PPS Junior A Final
IS Killorglin v Loreto Cavan, Banagher Friday 20th April at 1pm.
All roads lead to Banagher County Offaly next Friday when Intermediate School Killorglin hope to bring back the Junior A All Ireland title. Standing in their way are the Ulster champions Loreto Cavan , and they are sure to provide a stern test for the Killorglin girls, in what could prove to be a classic final.
ISK come into the game on the back of a very impressive Munster campaign in which they racked up 20 goals and 44 points in a series of hammerings dished out to Loreto Fermoy, Christ the King Cork and John the Baptist of Limerick. The Munster final was a much tighter affair but ISK eventually accounted for Loreto Clonmel on a 2-14 to 3-8 scoreline after extra time. ISK were thankful to goals from Rachel Evans and Cora Joy that day, whilst Roisin Griffin was in superb point scoring form from play and frees. Next up was Loreto Navan of Meath and ISK stormed to a 3-13 to 3-7 victory.
ISK’s opponents Loreto Cavan are a formidable outfit in their own right. They are no slouches on the scoring front either and have amassed 16 goals and 41 points in their 3 Ulster championship games. They also accounted for Presentation Tuam of Galway on a 6-9 to 4-5 scoreline in the All Ireland semi final. Their senior team recently won the All Ireland A title as well and a number of the players that started that game will line out next Friday for the Junior team. The very dangerous Ally Cahill is a player that will have to be watched while Ashling Walls, Lorna O’Reilly, Aoife Crowe and Olivia Murphy are players that could open up the ISK defence if allowed.
There is serious quality in the ISK side as well though and most of their starting 15 have worn the Kerry jersey at underage level. Players like Claire Fealy in goals, Andrea Nolan, Kayleigh McGlashen,Orla Dunphy and Beithinn Brosnan are excellent performers in defence. Rachel Evans and Ailbhe Clifford form a formidable midfield , while in attack ISK will be looking to players like Roisin Griffin, Cora Joy, Fodhla Houlihan and Mairin Duffy to get the scores.
ISK’s management team of Anna Maria O’ Donoghue, Darragh O’Regan, Dave Stanton and James Doyle have done great work in preparing the team and will be quietly confident of lowering the Cavan sides colours on Friday. It will be a tough task, but with the quality that is in their side they are well capable of bringing the All Ireland title back to Killorglin.
All Ireland PPS Junior B Final
St Brigids Killarney v Colaiste Bhaile Chlair (Galway), Rathkeale,Saturday 21st April at 1 pm.
St Brigids Killarney are the second Kerry school in action this weekend when they face Colaiste Bhaile Chlair of Galway in the All Ireland PPS B final on Saturday. St Brigids had a relatively easy campaign in Munster and ran up a massive 18 goals and 46 points in their victories over Colaiste na Sceilge, Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, St. Mary’s Mallow, and St Flannan’s of Clare. The Munster final was an all Kerry affair with St Brigid’s triumphing over Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luchra Rathmore on a 6-9 to 2-8 scoreline, whilst it was a much tighter affair in the All Ireland semi final where they had a single point to spare in a 1-7 to 1-6 win over Eureka Secondary School Kells.
Like ISK, St Brigids have a number of players with intercounty experience in their side with Tara Murphy, Ava Doherty, Chloe O’Connor, Jade Potts, Ciara Randles and Anna Clifford all top performers. They will have able back up in the likes of Isabelle Murphy, Meghan Brosnan and Mairead Bennett. In fairness there is quality all through the Killarney side and with Anna Clifford on song it is difficult to see them being beaten.
Colaiste Bhaile Chlair is a relatively new school in Claregalway as it was only opened in 2013, but they have made rapid strides in ladies football in the last few years. Last Saturday they claimed the All Ireland PPS senior C All Ireland title at the first time of asking and will have some of those girls in their ranks for Saturday. After an easy route through the Connacht championship, Colaiste Bhaile Chlair had a ding dong tussle against St Catherines College Armagh in the All Ireland semi final before eventually pulling through on a 4-11 to 4-9 scoreline. They have notable players in Kiera Kearney, Kate Slevin, Shauna Brennan, Aiva Murray,Elaine Mitchell, Laura Flynn, and Shannon Connelly and are sure to test the mettle of the Killarney girls. Colaiste Bhaile Chlair are managed by Galway senior footballer Fabienne Cooney.
St Brigids are managed by Adrienne Brosnan and Paudie Breen and they are certain to have their girls well prepared for the battle ahead.It promises to be an epic battle, but St Brigids should have the quality to pull through in the finish.