Louth v Armagh
After the break for state exams, the Louth U16 girls’ team return to action on Wednesday evening, July 10, when they face neighbours Armagh in the All-Ireland ‘C’ semi-final.
The Martin Duffy managed side enjoyed a successful spring campaign in Leinster, where they defeated Wicklow, Carlow and Kilkenny in the group stages, before a thrilling come from behind provincial last four victory against Westmeath in Mullingar, which qualified them for the final where they saw off Laois in Athy.
Armagh, on the other hand, suffered defeat to Cavan and Monaghan, but got back on track to claim the Ulster ‘C’ title with victory over Antrim.
Duffy, along with his management team of Gerard Roe, Brian Brady, Deirdre O’Reilly, Patricia Johnson and Orla Briscoe, have been working with the squad since last August, and the commitment of the girls has been exemplary, and the improvement has been marked in that time. With a panel of 29 (coming from 18 different clubs), picking a starting team and, indeed, subs to introduce will no doubt cause a few headaches as the game nears.
The team will likely look to the brilliance of Rebecca Lambe Fagan in goals, while team captain Caitlin O’Reilly should be at full-back. The midfield of Sophie Turley and Mia Duffy have been in top form as a partnership, while in the forward line, Ava Briscoe, Ellen McBride and Seona Halligan will be expected to keep the scoreboard operator busy.
Hopefully a large crowd from the Wee County will come out on Wednesday and lend their support to the girls, and that by Thursday morning plans are in place for a final two weeks’ later.
The game takes place in Monaghan Harps GFC with a 7:00pm starting time.
The management and panel would like to thank Noel Litchfield, Una Pearson, Paul Gallagher, Peter Fitzpatrick, Danny Woods, Fergal Sheekey and Declan Byrne who have all come in at different times to lend their expertise in the form of coaching.
They would also like to express thanks to Lenra Construction, Tullyallen for sponsoring a new set of jerseys; Christoff Kitchens, Jenkinstown for bags and t-shirts; Lidl, Dundalk, who have sponsored refresh- ments for each game; and Martin Commins, Ardee, for supplying sandwiches along the way.
Louth panel: Ava Briscoe (St. Fechins), Kaylin Nugent and Kate Kelly (Newtown Blues), Emily Johnson and Louise Johnson (O’Raghallaighs), Caitlin O’Reilly (Oliver Plunketts), Rachel Leonard and Aine Caralon (Glen Emmets), Róisin Maguire (St. Kevins), Mia Duffy (Ardee St. Marys), Amy Farrell (Glyde Rangers), Sarah Gilmore (Westerns), Ellen McBride (St. Bride’s), Sophie Turley (Naomh Fionnbarra), Kerry Ann D’arcy, Leah McArdle and Neasa Reilly (Geraldines), Sinead Kneel and Ella McEnteggart (Kilkerley Emmets), Seona Halligan and Abi Keenan (Roche Emmets), Rebecca Lambe Fagan and Caoimhe Crichton (Dowdallshill), Evelyn Donnolly, Rachel Hynes and Katie Conlon (St. Patrick’s) Alice Ferguson, Kelly Carolan and Laoise McIlroy (Cooley Kickhams).
Preview by Dermot Woods