This Sunday afternoon, the Offaly ladies footballers face into battle with Wicklow in the Tesco Ladies Intermediate Semi Final. After a very comprehensive victory last Wednesday evening over Longford, the faithful ladies will head into this game full of confidence and with no fear in the task that lies ahead.
When the sides last meet in the League earlier in the season, Offaly came out on top with 2-16 to 1-1 victory in Wicklow when the faithful girls battled both Wicklow and the weather on a snowy afternoon during their league campaign. Given last weeks win, it suggests that Farrelly will name an unchanged team for the Leinster semi-final in O’Connor Park Tullamore.
Laura Devery will captain the team from the goals. In defence, league team of the year players Michelle Guinan and Catherine Bennett will be joined by the experienced Aoife Byrne and Emma Dalton, along with debutants from last week, Nicole Farrelly and Ciara O’Connor who looked very much at home as the wing backs. In midfield Offaly have a massive number of options, Aoife Norris and minor star Roisin Egan will make up the partnership in this sector as their form grows since they started there together in the league semi final win over Antrim two months ago. Treasa McManus also makes her return to the Offaly panel this weekend after missing the last game through injury. In the forward line, Orlagh Heavey, Lorraine Keena, Siobhan Flannery, Ellee McEvoy and Aoife Corbett have huge scoring capability and versatile around the attack sector.
Along with the possible return of McManus to the squad, Offaly will also have both Sinead Daly and Emer Nally available for selection who were away for the Leinster quarter final, their return to the panel can only make Offaly even stronger with. Mairead Daly, Kym Furey and Emma have yet to return to the side later in the year after their respected travels to the USA.
Offaly will be hoping that duel players Roisin Egan, Linda Sullivan, Siobhan Flannery and Lorraine Keena all come through their game with the Offaly Camoige team on Saturday afternoon against Galway to change their focus back to the big ball for the Leinster semi-final clash.
The Offaly management will release their starting fifteen after the Camoige game, but will head into this game as favourites to reach their second Leinster Intermediate final in a row, where the winners of Wexford and Kildare will await the winners.