Following their victories over Wicklow and Longford, The Offaly Ladies football team have a tough battle ahead on Sunday July 19th in Netwatch Cullen Park Carlow where the Faithful girls take on the Lily whites in the Leinster Ladies football final at 2pm.
Newly relegated Kildare will be favourites and will be hoping to return to senior status in September, but Offaly will have no fear after overcoming Wicklow and Longford comfortably in the past couple of weeks. In recent years Offaly Ladies footballer have been on the up and up at all levels. Earlier in the year Offaly once again claimed the Division four National league title against Limerick, while the minors competed in an All-Ireland semi-final with Tipperary which they were defeated in as they now refocus for their intermediate counter-parts.
Offaly’s road to the final meant that they defeated Longford 2014 Leinster champions on a huge scoreline. Wicklow was a closer game only winning by four points (2-11 to 0-13) Captain Jackie Kinch for Wicklow their main scoring threat. The Offaly ladies football team boasts a huge level of talent, dual inter-county footballers and camogie players Roisin Egan, Siobhan Flannery, Lorraine Keena and Linda Sullivan have returned to the Offaly Ladies side and will be hunting for silverware after their poor camogie championship campaign. Minor players Aoife Corbett, Ellee McEvoy and Rosin Egan will also be determined for a title after losing their minor semi-final mid-week.
Laura Devery will captain the team from the goals, while in defense it seems Offaly will be hoping for their strongest fifteen to preform on the day. The Offaly side have a number of options available to them featuring some award winning player. In defense team of the year players Michelle Guinan and Catherine Bennett could joined by the experienced Aoife Byrne and Emma Dalton, along with this years debutants Nicole Farrelly and Ciara O’Connor who have settled as wing backs for Sunday’s clash. 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 over two months ago. Treasa McManus also has made her return to the Offaly panel from injury. In the forward line, Orlagh Heavey, Lorraine Keena, Siobhan Flannery, Ellee McEvoy, Kym Furey and Aoife Corbett have huge scoring capability and versatile around the attack sector.
Offaly will also have both Sinead Daly and Emer Nally available for selection along with the return of Kym Furey from the states meaning management will have a headache choosing the best fifteen for the task at hand. If Offaly lose this game they are still in the All-Ireland championship which would see the return of other county players such as 2013 junior player of the year Mairead Daly and lightning quick defender Emma Corcoran who have yet to return to the side later in the year after their respected travels to the USA. What ever the result may be Offaly will be relishing a tough challenge as they set their sites to gain senior status in years to come.