It’s a real local derby in the Louth LGFA semi-final when near neighbours St Mochtas and St Brides meet in Stabanonn on Sunday at 1pm.
The Louth Village side emerged from a very competitive group as runner-up having accounted for Cooley and St Fechins while losing to both Geraldines and Newtown Blues.
Midfielder Eimear Byrne believes her side will have to be at their best if they are to win;
“It is always very tight between ourselves and Brides, and it’s a classic local derby. It will be really all about on the day but we are anticipating a good battle. All of us are really looking forward to Sunday with most wishing it was the day already.
“There is a buzz about training that we’ve lacked previously and we just can’t wait for this game,” added Eimear who believes that the win in Cooley was possibly their best display this year.
“The game against Cooley was a great team performance with great fight. We came back from a couple of points down at half time, but hopefully the best is yet to come,” she added.
That performance would have given encouragement to the management team of Chris Doyle, Gerry Smith, Julie Gauguran and Annmarie Brown.
The Mochtas backline will need to be alert to the dangers posed by the Knockbridge forwards Amy McNally, Bronagh and Emma McArdle and Sarah Fegan while Longford native Aillish Noonan impressed at midfield in the defeat of Pats.
The Louth Village side will look to the experience of the likes of Eimear and Aoife Byrne, the attacking threat of Emma Quinn. Nadine Muckian and former Cooley player Katie Rafferty while Niamh Kirk is among the county’s top keepers.
“On night number one of training this year we decided it was going to take everyone in the panel to put in a big effort in order to make anything happen so I have to say it has really been a team effort and I couldn’t single anyone out,” said Byrne.
Games between these two have always been very competitive with players being very familiar with each other’s style of play as they have been amalgamated at minor level for some time.
With three wins from four outings Brides keeper Ciera Rafferty is confident her side will make the final for the second time in four years; “The team is really looking forward to the game. The training sessions have been great, we have been looking at ways to improve our game, and there’s an air of confidence in the group.
“We would be very familiar with the Mochtas as they are our closest neighbours and our biggest rivals, having played them regularly over the past number of years”.
Having won her first SFC medal back in 2003 with Nh.Malachi and a part of All-Ireland winning Louth team’s in 1998/99 what motivates the Kilcurry native to continue playing; “Playing alongside the young players. I hope I’m a role model and I thrive on helping the team/players to achieve their full potential. This club has yet to win a senior championship and it would the icing on the cake for me to end my playing career with another SFC medal. I know that winning feeling, so I love would this team to achieve this”