Players and mentors from the six participating teams in next weekend’s All-Ireland Ladies Club Football Finals gathered at Croke Park for Captains Day on Tuesday, December 4 – and there was a festive feel to proceedings!
Christmas will come early for the three clubs who are successful in the All-Ireland Senior, Intermediate and Junior Club Finals, which will be played next Saturday and Sunday, December 8/9.
There’s a double-header at Parnell Park on Saturday as Foxrock-Cabinteely (Dublin) and Mourneabbey (Cork) go head-to-head for the Senior title at 5:15pm, before Clontarf (Dublin) and Emmet Óg (Monaghan) clash in the Intermediate Final (7:30pm).
Both games will be televised LIVE by TG4, while RTÉ Radio 1 will also broadcast the senior Final LIVE.
On Sunday, it’s the turn of the Junior Finalists, namely Glanmire (Cork) and Tourlestrane (Sligo), who will meet at Duggan Park in Ballinasloe at 2:30pm.
That fixture will be streamed LIVE on the Ladies Gaelic Football Association Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LadiesGaelicFootball/
For the fourth time in five seasons, Mourneabbey will contest the All-Ireland Ladies Senior Club Final.
The Cork and Munster champions, who have newly-crowned TG4 All Star sisters Ciara and Doireann O’Sullivan in their ranks, lost out in the 2014, 2015 and 2017 Finals, but will hope to make it fourth time lucky.
Their meeting with Foxrock-Cabinteely is a repeat of the 2017 semi-final, which Mourneabbey won after extra-time, before they lost out to Carnacon in the showpiece decider.
Foxrock-Cabinteely, who have a number of Dublin stars in their team, including six-time TG4 All Star Sinéad Goldrick, were beaten finalists against Donaghmoyne (Monaghan) in 2016.
As neither senior Finalist has won the All-Ireland Senior Club title before, a new name will be inscribed on the Dolores Tyrrell Memorial Cup after Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated fixture.
Both teams came through tough semi-finals to make it to Parnell Park, with Foxrock-Cabinteely accounting for Donaghmoyne, while Mourneabbey defeated Kilkerrin-Clonberne on Galway soil.
The Intermediate Club Final pits Dublin against Monaghan, as Clontarf take on Emmet Óg.
A Dublin club has never won the Intermediate Club Final, although Thomas Davis (2013) and St Brigid’s (2009) did reach this stage.
There has been a Monaghan winner of this competition previously, and that was a decade ago when Emyvale got the better of Ballingeary/Inchigeelagh from Cork.
In the Junior Final, Glanmire seek to follow in the path of last year’s winners Aghada by bringing the silverware back to Cork.
Indeed, this is the fourth successive year that a Cork club has contested the All-Ireland Junior Club Final, as Aghada (2017), Kinsale (2016) and Bantry Blues (2015) all appeared on the big day in previous seasons.
For Sligo Football, Sunday will mark the first time since 2009, when Drumcliffe Rosses Point contested the Junior Final, that a team from the Yeats County has contested an All-Ireland Club decider.
St Nathy’s (1999) were also Junior Club Finalists but no Sligo team has ever won an All-Ireland Club title.
Clontarf, Emmet Óg, Glanmire and Tourlestrane are all first-time All-Ireland Club Finalists.
Saturday December 8:
All-Ireland Ladies Senior Club Final – Foxrock-Cabinteely (Dublin) v Mourneabbey (Cork); Parnell Park, Donnycarney, Dublin, 5.15pm. LIVE TG4/RTÉ Radio 1.
All-Ireland Ladies Intermediate Club Final – Clontarf (Dublin) v Emmet Óg (Monaghan); Parnell Park, Donnycarney, Dublin, 7.30pm. LIVE TG4.
Sunday December 9:
All-Ireland Ladies Junior Club Final – Glanmire (Cork) v Tourlestrane (Sligo); Duggan Park, Ballinasloe, H52K274, 2.30pm. LIVE Stream on LGFA Facebook Page.