Tipperary ladies football stars Aishling Moloney and Samantha Lambert.
Shane Ronayne’s fast-improving Tipperary team are set to most the might of Kerry in the opening round of the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on Saturday, July 14th (throw-in 1pm).
The Tipperary ladies footballers will compete in group one of the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship alongside Donegal and Kerry with the top two progressing to the quarter-finals. The Premier County will face Donegal on Saturday, July 21st with the venue and time remaining to be confirmed for that fixture.
The quarter-finals are scheduled to take place on Monday, August 6th and Sunday, August 12th, the semi-finals on Saturday, August 18th and Saturday, August 25th and the final on Sunday, September 16th.
Kerry beat Waterford in a recent provincial semi-final (2-16 to 1-6), but lost out to Cork in the Munster final (2-10 to 5-13). Meanwhile Donegal were more than impressive when they blasted 9-21 past Armagh in the Ulster decider.
For their part Tipperary came up just short against hot favourites Cork in an entertaining TG4 Munster Senior Ladies Football Championship semi-final played in Ardfinnan. The Premier County had their moments in this contest and were left cursing a handful of spurned goal-scoring opportunities which may well have transformed the trajectory of this clash (1-10 to 2-12).
Shane Ronayne’s fast-improving team had hoped to reach the Munster senior final for the first time since 1982, but Cork were good value for their win on this occasion.
Management team: this season the Tipperary senior ladies football team is managed by Shane Ronayne (Mourneabbey, Cork) alongside mentors Anne-Marie Ruby (Mourneabbey, Cork), Elaine Harte (Moyne-Templetuohy), Tony Smith (Moyle Rovers), James O’Leary (Galtee Rovers) and Alan O’Connor (Cahir).
The Tipperary team which faced Cork in the recent provincial semi-final read as follows: Lauren Fitzpatrick (Ballymacarbry, Waterford), Emma Cronin (Moyle Rovers), Samantha Lambert (Ardfinnan, captain), Maria Curley (Templemore), Emma Buckley (Cahir), Bríd Condon (Aherlow), Jennifer Grant (Brian Ború’s), Orla O’Dwyer (Boherlahan), Aishling Moloney (Cahir), Caoimhe Condon (Brian Ború’s), Róisín Howard (Cahir), Anna Rose Kennedy (Aherlow), Niamh Lonergan (Moyle Rovers), Mairéad Morrissey (Brian Ború’s), Aisling McCarthy (Cahir). Subs used: Laura Dillon (Ardfinnan), Gillian O’Brien (Moyle Rovers), Kate Davey (Fethard).
Tipperary will face into the All-Ireland series as distinct underdogs, but there is no doubting the fact that this Premier County team are moving in the right direction. Indeed, blue and gold supporters left Parnell Park in Dublin earlier this year feeling a foot taller following Tipperary’s dramatic one-point win over Cavan in the Lidl National Ladies Football League division two final (0-21 to 3-11). Plenty went wrong for the Premier County in that decider, but each time Tipperary responded to the challenge posed. Indeed, you could not but fall in love with this team and how they go about their business: Tipperary are mean in defence, explosive on the ball, have a real cutting edge up front and they just refuse to give up. Indeed, following the league final Tipperary ladies football manager Shane Ronayne described the spirit of his players as “incredible”.
The contest between Tipperary and Kerry will precede the championship meeting of Waterford and Westmeath which will also take place at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh at 2.45pm.
The 2018 TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Championships were launched recently at Croke Park, Dublin with representatives from the competing junior, intermediate and senior teams present. TG4 have announced a four-year extension of their sponsorship of the ladies football championships with the new deal set to last until the conclusion of the 2022 season. Seventeen ladies football championship games will be broadcast this summer exclusively live on TG4. Pictured are Alan Esslemont (Ardstiúrthóir TG4) and Marie Hickey (President of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association) along with the Brendan Martin Cup and several senior players representing the competing counties (from left): Laura Walsh (Westmeath), Doireann O'Sullivan (Cork), Mairead Seoighe (Galway), Mairead Wall (Waterford), Sarah Houlihan (Kerry), Sharon Reel (Armagh), Sinead Greene (Cavan), Samantha Lambert (Tipperary), Sharon Courtney (Monaghan), Aoife McDonnell (Donegal) and Sinéad Aherne (Dublin). Photo: Sportsfile
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