Deise Dreaming of Sixth Title in a Row

Shona Curran has been one of Waterford’s most consistent footballers in recent seasons.

Shona Curran has been one of Waterford’s most consistent footballers in recent seasons.

Waterford’s Intermediate Ladies Football team will be looking to win a sixth successive Munster Final when they take on Limerick in Rathmore (Kerry) this Saturday. Waterford has dominated this grade since it was introduced (winning five out of six thus far), and only the Shannonsiders now stand between them and a remarkable half dozen provincial crowns in a row.

At the start of the year, Limerick would have been considered outsiders to reach this year’s final, with Waterford and last year’s beaten All-Ireland Finalists Tipperary favourites to fight it out in the decider for the third successive summer. However, both teams have clearly reached Saturday’s final on merit, following the two-match mini-league contested by Waterford, Limerick and Tipperary.

Waterford opened their account with a 2-12 to 0-11 win over Limerick on June 20th and followed that up with a comprehensive 4-23 to 1-8 win over Tipp on July 2nd.

As for Limerick, they recovered from their first round setback to overcome Tipperary in what was effectively a knock-out match, hammering the Premier by five clear goals (6-13 to 1-13).

Against Waterford, Limerick produced a brave performance, but Waterford’s goalscoring knack proved pivotal during their first encounter. Marie Curtin has led Limerick’s attacking line thus far, hitting 0-6 against Waterford and last time out registered 1-2 against Tipperary. However, they’re by no means a one woman team as the likes of Claire O’Brien and Dympna O’Brien all know where to find the posts.

Throw in the likes of Niamh Richardson, Megan Kelleher, Stephanie Carroll, Janet Garvey, Emma McGuire, Kathryn Fahy, Michelle Norris and Megan O’Shea and one can see how the challengers could cause Waterford some problems.

Deise boss Pat O’Brien has changed things about this year, introducing young players that were part of successful underage teams into the set up this year, with Liz Devine, Shauna Dunphy and Lauren McGregor making telling contributions.

Waterford reached this year’s League Final without the services of some established players; Grainne Kenneally and Shona Curran missed much of that campaign as they were helping Lismore win the All-Ireland Camogie Championship.

However, that duo, along with Grainne Enright has also returned to the side and they’ve added considerable experience to the team. Consider too the Ryan, McGrath and Wall sisters, Roisin Tobin, Aimee Jordan, Hannah Landers, Mags Revins, and one can identify talent aplenty.

One suspects the defence that holds strongest on the day should come out on top. Waterford having added to their team since the early rounds of the League and having the greater experience should come out on top, but don’t write off Limerick’s chances too easily.

WATERFORD PANEL: Aimee Jordan (Abbeyside); Nora Dunphy (Comeragh Rangers), Grainne Kenneally (Ballyduff Upper), Mary Foley (Abbeyside); Grainne Enright (Abbeyside), Karen McGrath (Ballymacarbry), Roisin Tobin (Abbeyside); Michelle McGrath (Ballymacarbry -Captain), Elaine Power (Tramore); Linda Wall (Ballymacarbry), Michelle Ryan (Ballymacarbry), Mairead Wall (Ballymacarbry); Aileen Wall (Ballymacarbry), Hannah Landers (Ballyduff Upper), Liz Devine (Brickey Rangers). Grainne Costelloe (Stradbally), Shona Curran (St. Pat’s), Margaret Revins (Old Parish), Louise Ryan (Ballymacarbry), Ciara Dunphy (Comeragh Rangers), Aisling Hahessy (Comeragh Rangers), Amy Whelan (Stradbally), Megan O’Connor (Brickey Rangers), Shauna Dunphy (Comeragh Rangers), Lauren McGregor (Dungarvan), Lauren Guirey (Ballymacarbry), Caoimhe McGrath (Abbeyside), Katie Hayes (Dungarvan), Aoife Landers (St Pat’s).

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