In what promises to be an exciting encounter, fierce rivals Killoe and Clonguish battle it out on Saturday next in the Longford Ladies senior football championship final at 6.30pm in Leo Casey Park, Ballymahon.
Victors on the day will take home the much sought-after Alison Smyth Memorial Cup, a trophy that the Killoe ladies currently have in their possession having won it in its inaugural season last year and will be eager to hold onto.
The Killoe contingent will be well aware of the challenge that faces them and both teams have displayed particular class in their run up to this year’s showpiece and have very much justified their involvement on county final day.
Killoe are this year managed by Paul O’Brien and promising Killoe footballer David Kiernan, who has had to take a back seat from playing in recent times due to unfortunate injury.
While the calibre of footballing talent has been evident in Killoe for the past number of years as they have dominated ladies football and won the last three county finals they appear to have acquired a fitness to match that talent which has allowed them if possible to take their game up a level having beaten both Ballymore and Colmcille very convincingly in the run up to the Final.
Killoe’s scoring prowess is undeniable most notably amongst their joint captains of Annemarie Bratten and Sabrina Hackett, while the strength and experience of all-rounder Sharon Treacy and midfield pairing of Elizabeth and Jacinta Brady gives the side a first-rate back bone. The forward six also includes quality players such as Anna McDonnell and recent return form injury Edel Quinn.
If the Killoe side are bolstered by their fine scoring forwards then Surely Clonguish are the best placed side to handle these players given the quality in their back six. Rightfully afforded their place in this year’s Tesco home-grown team of the league, having been consistently outstanding for their county, Marie Brady and Mairead Moore are arguably the most skilled defenders in the county.
Clonguish have enjoyed much success over the past decade winning in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 and the majority of this current panel have been together through these county Finals. Like Killoe, Clonguish are jointly captained. Experienced panel members Yvonne Barden and Anne Burke lead the charges and are abely supported by longstanding full forward Una Flynn and county midfielder Siobhan McGowan.
Clonguish have had two very substantial wins on their journey to this year’s final beating both Mullinaghta and Colmcille very convincingly, but faced a tougher challenge when they met Ballymore a only coming out on top by the smallest of margins. Their mangament team of Andrew Kavanagh and David Barden will have undoubtedly done their homework and will have addressed the errors noted in that performance
Whatever the journey so far, when you consider the recent history between these two sides this year’s county final centrepiece promises to be a cracker.
Killoe ever since their Leinster championship win of 2008 have been eager to get another real opportunity at Leinster success.
While Clonguish having been denied club championship’s success since their last win in 2009 will be only too enthusiastic about the chance to knock the gallant Killoe off their perch.