Na Gaeil v Dunedin Connollyâs (Edinburgh)
Date: Saturday 30th
Next Saturday will be a big day for Na Gaeils ladies club as
after 10 years in existence they will see their senior ladies head into the All-Ireland
Junior club Final and in doing so will become the first Kerry club since
Abbeydorney to contest an All-Ireland final.
Abbeydorney won the Intermediate All Ireland final in 2005
and few would have predicted such a wait for a Kerry club but ladies club
football has been in the doldrums especially when it comes to competing beyond
Their path to the final has been impressive to say the least
having run up big scores and leaking very little in return. In fact, they have
conceded only 0-15 in their quest and amazingly conceded just 0-5 in each of
their three games to date while they have amassed 14-56 scored in return.
All Star Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh, Kerry panellist Maria
Quirke, Sarah Cunningham and Shona Heaslip have been impressive to date in
their forward line. The young Mary Doody and Brid OâConnor have dominated midfield
while Riona Ni Cinnede marshals her defence from the halfback line in which
Maura OâConnor and Eilis OâConnor have stood out. While Laura Fitzgerald has
yet to concede a goal.
However, there is a real fear that the first test of the
year will come in the shape of Dunedin Connollyâs. They will be the first team
to offer up some physical resistance all over the field as to date none of Na
Gaeils opponents were able to take a physical battle to them and were all in
turn over run.
Dunedinâs path to the final has also been impressive. Having
won the British title in Liverpool, they had to overcome both Ulster and
Leinster provincial winners and did so in fine style.
They are a team that have scored 13 goals in their last two
outings and it will suggest that for the first time in the campaign Na Gaeil
will have their backs tested
Caoilfhionn Deeney is a former All-Ireland Junior winner
with Wicklow and has been scorer in chief for the Connollyâs. The Na Gaeil
defence have not met anyone of her quality yet. Niamh Morrison and Rosanna
Heaney at midfield are both strong competitors while Deidra Shiels, Anne Marie
Colbert and Katie Mohan all have former inter county experience.
Dunedin Connollyâs will bring a massive team spirit. The
team themselves have raise Â£15,000 to cover the cost of their travel so far
this year. That alone is an amazing achievement, which included the whole team
running a half marathon to raise funds. That spirit has shone through their
games to date and they are relishing the Na Gaeil challenge and have no problem
in wearing the no hopers tag.
The Intermediate Final will also have a Kerry connection as
Sean Joy of Laune Rangers has been appointed to oversee Thomas Davis of Dublin
play Claregalway of Galway.
Thomas Davis were last yearâs Junior winners and this could
well be an omen for Na Gaeil as teams that win the Junior usually do well the
following year. Just ask neighbours Abbeydorney but that is a question that can
wait until after the final whistle. One that should see Na Gaeil crowned All
Ireland champions but not by a margin like of any of their last outings.
Who are Dunedin Connollyâs?
Strange as it may seem but Dunedin Connollyâs are in
existence longer than Na Gaeil. They were formed in 1998 after Edinburgh College
saw an increase of Irish people. They also have a GAA team.
They have previously won the All British Colleges
championships in 2006 and 2007
They won the junior level of the 2013 Paidi OâSe tournament
They have defeated Leinster champions St Helens of Longford
and Ulster Champions Shane OâNeillâs of Armagh to reach the final.
They have scored 12-21 and conceded 8-20 to date in the All-Ireland
They have had no home game in the championship so far
travelling away to all their games.
Kerry’s Mag’s Callaghan will be trying to prevent her county winning the All Ireland title
They are the first Scottish team to reach An All-Ireland
Na Gaeils Path to the
Na Gaeil 3-17 Austin Stacks 2-6
Na Gaeil 7-19 Bricky
Rangers 0-5 (Waterford)
Na Gaeil 3-20
Ballylanders 0-5 (Limerick)
Na Gaeil 4-17 Shannon Gaels 0-5 (Roscommon)