After a very impressive campaign in Division 3 which saw Wicklow just pipped for a league semi final berth the ladies will open their TG4 Ladies Leinster Football Championship at home to Offaly this Sunday in Aughrim @16:30.
The sides met in the league with Wicklow emerging victorious in that encounter so Offaly will be gunning for the win this Sunday and possess some very talented players in their ranks with Mairead Daly being one player to watch out for.
Wicklow line out with the sure hands of Blessington’s Kim Connors between the sticks and the blue steel of Tinahely’s Emily Mullhall & Sarah Hogan along with Bray Emmets Aoife Gillen form a stern rearguard. The half back line is the most dynamic half back line around with Foxrock Cabinteely’s Lorna Fusciardi who was named in the Division 3 team of the year continuing her great season at number 5 alongside the rock that is Tinahely’s Jessie Nolan Byrne who anchors the defense and a championship debut sees exciting young Tinahely’ prospect Aimee Maher take her place at number 7. An all Tinahely duo will look to dominate the airways as Aoife Gorman & Jackie Kinch will bring nothing but quality to the middle of the park and will be the fulcrum of this Wicklow team on Sunday. The half forward line is the real engine room of the side with Clara’s Sarah Miley bringing the boom to the attack while she will have have the dynamo that is Foxrock Cabinteely’s Laurie Ahern and the suave and deadly Eire Og Sharpshooter Meadhbh Deeney joining her in a seriously strong line. The full forward line is where the real assassins hang out as St Pats Sensation Sarah Delahunt brings a serious headache for Offaly Defenders with her aerial threat a huge asset alongside two little giants of the attacking arts in Tinahely’s Laura Hogan and St Pats Clodagh Fox who’d both manage to find pints at an AA meeting!
The strength in the starting 15 is only matched by the fact that Wicklow have such talent in reserve and that has probably been the secret to Wicklow’s surge in recent years as the team does not get weaker when a change is made because of the talent in the squad and you have to be on the extreme top of your game in this side because of the level of competition for places and Wicklow have the luxury of so many versatile players to call on. St Pats Megan Dunne has been a capable deputy between the posts and has performed brilliantly when called on while Baltinglass star defender Sarah Jane Winders has done wonders in the Wicklow Full back line for years and Bray’s Erin Horan is a hugely exciting young talent. Clanna Gaels Tara Costello has been a revelation for Wicklow this year bringing a dynamic ability to the side with St Pats Kate Hennessy the smiling terror to so many opposition players. Baltinglass Ace attacker Anna McGrath has been a live and very dangerous threat all year while her clubmate Marie “The Undertaker” Kelly has been burying teams for a long time and loves TG4 and TG4 loves her! AGB’s Georgina Canavan is easily one of the finest attacking ballers in the county and has had no luck on the injury front but she keeps bouncing back and is a very capable threat while An Tochar’s Amy Murphy is the pocket rocket who’s been running amok in Division 3 in the National League and in the Wicklow lead and needs no introduction. The find of the year is AGB’s Annemarie Keegan who lined out for the Leinster team and is a player with a big career ahead of her just like St Pats Legend and team captain Niamh McGettigan who is the true warrior of this Wicklow team and has put her body on the line for the cause taking some serious knocks along the way but she is a serious competitor and will be a big bonus to call upon. Another of the array of gifted young attacking players is Baltinglass score magnet Evelyn Deans who has slotted in to the Wicklow team seamlessly and will be a handful and then some for Offaly if they have the misfortune of seeing her enter the fray and last but by no means least is Tinahely’s Aine Byrne who made a welcome return to the Wicklow Squad this year and her huge experience despite her young years is an assets that not many teams are luck enough to call on and she like an crowded jail will be taking no prisoners should she see action on Sunday!
We would like to wish the Wicklow Ladies every success on Sunday and we ask you all to come out in force for the support of these wonderful ladies and their wonderful management team!