With Meath having triumphed against the odds and the country given the opportunity to bear witness to the spectacle that is Dublin versus Cork the division three and four finals on Sunday have a lot to live up to!
The first game of the day at 2pm sees Leitrim and Louth battle it out for the division four title, while there are local bragging rights on offer in the Laois and Kildare affair at 4pm.
Lidl NFL Division 3 Final – Laois v Kildare (4pm)
Baltinglass is the venue for the division three league final between old foes Laois and Kildare come 4pm Sunday.
The standout talking point of the week has been Daniel Moynihan’s exclusion of All Star goalkeeper Mary Hulgraine who is not even amongst the substitutes for the tie.
Having come back into the fray in the semi-final versus Sligo on their road to this fixture the change is noticeable as Maynooth’s Dervla McGinn comes in to replace her and marks Kildare’s third keeper so far this year.
Also side-lined is the injured and infamous Roisin Byrne who hasn’t featured so far this year, but after a shaky start Kildare, captained by Grace Clifford are starting to find their feet in 2021.
Their opponents Laois beat Roscommon 4-15 to 5-9 in ecstatic fashion to earn their spot tomorrow and with sharpshooter Mo Nerney in top form she is definitely one to watch and that The LIllywhites will be well aware of.
Speaking ahead of the match captain Laura Nerney told the LGFA her side will have to channel their “fighting spirit” if they are to win.
“It’s another local derby. To date, anytime ourselves and Kildare come up against each other there is usually only a small margin in the difference” she said.
“To be competitive in an Intermediate Championship, or even at senior level you need ot be competitive in the higher divisions of the league…A promotion to Division 2 would be fantastic for the morale in the county.”
It remains to be seen who will do just that and to which side of the River Barrow the Division 3 league cup will travel tomorrow afternoon, with the game available to watch live on TG4’s youtube channel!
Kildare (v Laois): D McGinn; C Sullivan, L Lenehan, M Doherty; L Murtagh, L Gilbert, H McLoughlin; S O’Sullivan, G Kenneally; C Wheeler, L Curran, G Clifford (capt.); E Dowling, N Dooley, A Rattigan.
Laois (v Kildare): E Barry; C Dunne, A Potts, A Kelly; R Williams, E Healy, L Nerney (capt.); F Dooley, J Moore; A Healy, E Galvin, E Fitzpatrick; M Nerney, S.A. Fitzgerald, L Tarpey.
Lidl NFL Division 4 Final – Leitrim v Louth (2pm)
Louth will be looking to get one back on Leitrim in tomorrow’s final as in the stages leading up to this The Wee County suffered an eight-point deficit against these same opponents at the start of this crusade.
On the other hand, the Leitrim ladies are trying to bring things back to days gone by when they last won this very title in 2010.
The Connacht side overcame Derry and Antrim and Limerick on their path here, while Louth faced Offaly in their semifinal to get to the St Tiernach’s Park decider.
Clare Owens admitted to the LGFA this week that she is appreciative and proud of the recent results they have gathered in that it serves as “a good indicator” that football is on the up and up in Leitrim.
“It has been a challenging few years but I think since we started working with Hugh (Donnehlly) and put some better structures in places, we’ve made great strides forward” she said.
“It will be my first time to play in Clones and it has been over a decade since we last won a League final. No words can do that level of excitement justice!”
Leitrim (v Louth): M Monaghan; M.A. Maguire, S Tighe, S McCartan; A Quinn, C Owens (capt.), C La Guen; Á Heslin, V Egan; L O’Dowd, M Guckian, E Brun; L Fox, A Clancy, R McHugh.
Louth (v Leitrim): U Pearson; E Hand, S Quinn, E Murray; M McMahon, S McLaughlin (capt.), C Nolan; Á Breen, N Rice; A Russell, K Flood, R Carr; L Collins, L Boyle, D McKenna.
Both games will be available to watch live over on TG4’s Youtube channel.