Louth Ladies in Leinster Minor and Under 16 Finals

Good Luck to our two teams in Leinster finals this weekend!

Leinster Minor C Final:

Wexford v Louth

Blessington GAA Grounds

2pm, Saturday 11th May

Chris Doyle’s U18 team are aiming to replicate their Provincial Shield success of two years ago when they take on Wexford on Saturday in Clane at 2pm.

Having beaten both Wicklow and Kilkenny and losing to Carlow on their way to the decider, Louth captain and senior player Niamh Rice is pleased to have made the final, “We have worked very hard to get this far and hopefully it will go our way on Saturday. We are up against a very good side in Wexford, they have been playing in a higher grade than us but we will give it our all and hopefully we will get the result we want”.

The Cooley Kickham’s star played a leading role as part of the Louth Junior team’s run to last year’s All-Ireland final and is one of a number of players who have taken part in a Leinster final. “Yes we have a number of players who have played in provincial finals, that experience is great to have and will help keep everyone stay calm and focused on the game”.

After a very competitive campaign Louth manager Chris Doyle is anticipating another close contest; ” I am very happy with our performances so far, we had a good win in Wicklow in our first round game played in difficult conditions Our next match against Carlow finished really disappointing as we played some great football and led by eleven points with only 10 minutes left but we let it slip. The win over Kilkenny got us back on track and set up a meeting with Wicklow in the last four.”

In that semi played in Dundalk, Louth found themselves four points to the good with the game deep in stoppage time but a goal in the last action of the game meant a period of extra time was needed.

Was the Clan Na Gael clubman worried at the late turn of events? “Most people in attendance thought we could be in trouble as the momentum was now with Wicklow, but we knew that there’s great spirit and character in this squad and with the introduction of a number of subs helped get us over the line. The support we got from the big crowd played a major part in that success and a similar turn out in the final would be a wonderful lift to the team”, concluded the Louth boss.

Wexford who will start as favourites are sure to provide stern opposition and were impressive 8:17 to 6:8 winners over Carlow in the semi final having trailed by 6:6 to 1:8 at half time. Louth will travel in confidence and are a well balanced outfit with the dependable Emma McDonald in goals, Katelyn Quinn and Maebh Hickey in defence, a capable midfield pairing of Ciara Quinn and Grace Treanor with Kodie McEneaney, Niamh Rice and the Clans duo of Cara McKeever and Lee Lawlor providing a threat in attack.

Both teams boast plenty of scoring power and while it won’t be easy, Louth have the ability to cause a major upset and take the Leinster title back to Wee-County on Saturday evening

Leinster Under 16 C Final:

Louth v Laois

Geraldine Park, Athy.

1.30pm, Sunday 12th May

Louth Under 16 Squad

Meanwhile, the U16s travel to Athy on Sunday for a meeting with Laois in the C Leinster final. The O’Moore County girls go into the decider as the more fancied as they have played in the B championship during spring time.

Louth have enjoyed a fine campaign and are unbeaten in their four games to date. After a first round win over Wicklow, the Reds beat Carlow and Kilkenny to set up a semi final meeting with Westmeath. In an absorbing contest in Mullingar, a late goal from Glen Emmet’s star Rachel Leonard helped the visitors seal a place in Sunday’s final on a 3:9 to 2:10 scoreline.

These counties clashed in the 2018 championship played in St.Brigid’s Park, withLaois coming out on top by three points. Louth will have 13 of last year’s panel to call on for Sunday’s final and have the inspirational defender Caitlin O’Reilly as captain, while the reliable Rebecca Lambe Fegan is expected to start in goals. Sophie Turley and Mia Duffy form a formidable midfield partnership while up front Martin Duffy’s side look well equipped with the likes of Roisin Maguire, Ellen McBride capable of troubling any defence.

Long term injuries will probably mean that Newton Blues star Ciara Ni Crioste and Stabannon player Caoimhe Boyle miss out but the panel has serious strength-in-depth, and the management team of Martin Duffy, Orla Briscoe, Deirdre O’Reilly, Patricia Johnston, Brian Brady and Gerard Roe have good reasons to be optimistic in their bid for glory.

Louth panel; Alice Ferguson, Kelli Carolan, Laoise McElroy (Cooley Kickhams) Kerri Ann D’Arcy, Leah McArdle, Neasa Reilly (Geraldines) Evelyn Donnelly, Rachel Hynes, Katie Conlon (St.Patricks) Katie Kelly, Kaylin Nugent (Newton Blues) Ella McEntaggert, Sinead Kneel (Kilkerley Emmets)  Selena Halligan, Abbi Keenan (Roche Emmets) Rebecca Lambe Fegan, Caoimhe Crichton (Dowdallshill) Emily & Louise Johnston (O’Raghallaighs) Aine Carolan & Rachel Leonard (Glen Emmets) Ava Briscoe, (St.Fechins) Ellen McBride (St. Brides) Amy Farrell (Glyde Rangers) Sarah Gilmore (Westerns) Mia Duffy (St.Marys) Sophie Turley (Nh. Fionnbarra) Caitlin O’Reilly (Oliver Plunketts)
Preview by Dermot Woods