The Tipperary intermediate ladies football team will bid to lift the spirits of The Premier County when they go head to head with Cavan in the All-Ireland Final in Croke Park on Sunday afternoon next.
The ladies have maintained a remarkable run of eighteen consecutive years of participation in All-Ireland Finals from Tipperary teams and Sunday’s game will see Sean O’Donovan’s ladies bid to repeat the feat of 2008 when they captured the crown in spectacular fashion. Another similar result will catapult Tipperary back to the senior grade.
The first All Ireland Ladies Football Final was held in 1974 and Tipperary were to be the first ever champions when they defeated Offaly. The Ladies Gaelic Football Association are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Association this year and and Tipperary and Offaly are represented again in the All Ireland. Wouldn’t it be fantastic for Tipp to mark the 40th with silverware.
Of course Tipp have already had a pretty spectacular season so far and their late late victory over Fermanagh in the All-Ireland semi-final in Semple Stadium was as dramatic as they come. What a victory that was - the vast majority thought that Fermanagh had done enough as they led by four with a minute to go. But, they didn’t bank on Tipperary having a never-say-die attitude which would see them kick the dramatic winning point right on the hooter.
“I had not given up on the team at all, but when there was just a minute to go and we were down by four, it was looking bad. I always believed we could win the game and it was just an incredible feeling when the final hooter went off. I felt we deserved to score 2-9 in that game and that proved to be enough to win,” Sean O’Donovan told The Tipperary Star. His captain Anne O’Dwyer (Cappawhite) corroborated his story. “We showed great character all season and we proved we had the bite in the last few minutes to see ourselves through,” she said.
Pictured above are four of the stars of the squad. Moycarkey Borris’ Caitriona Walsh and Kelly Hackett will have a lot of support from the Mid Tipperary area, while goalkeeper Patricia Hickey - a teacher in Colaiste Mhuire in Thurles; and Barbara Ryan, a teacher in Scoil Ailbhe in Thurles, and grand daughter of the late great Johnny Ryan (Cusack) an All-Ireland senior hurling winner in 1937, will be all out to help Tipp down Cavan. Page 71 for more.