Louth Ladies turn attention to All Ireland Series

With the Leinster title already secured, Louth turn their attention to the All-Ireland series as they head north to take on Antrim on Sunday in Belfast.

With the Leinster title already secured, Louth turn their attention to the All-Ireland series as they head north to take on Antrim on Sunday in Belfast.

These two counties are strongly fancied to emerge from this group which also includes Derry. The other group includes Offaly, Wexford, Kilkenny and Carlow with the top two in each section qualfiying for the All-Ireland semi-finals.

This will be Antrims second outing having beaten Derry last weekend by 2-18 to 1-7.

The saffrons had a poor league campaign but did get the better of Louth in their only win in the winter competition.

On that occassion having led by three points at the intervil, Antrim added a quick fire 1-3 on the resumption and although Louth finished strongly they went down to a 2-9 to 0-12 defeat.

The management of Donna and Brian Coyle (St.Pauls) and Aine McElroy and Eddie McKeever (Moneyglass) have placed their trust in youth and are are expected to include as many as seven of last years minor team which lost in the All-Ireland final to Louth.

Of Antrims seven league fixtures, five were away from home and with some some lenghty distances to travel it was understandable some of their younger players were unavailable due to work and exams.

With everyone on board and the Ulster title under their belt, coupled with the win over Derry, Antrim will go into this game with a degree of confidence.

As an attacking force the northern side are not short of talented score getters and the underdog tag will suit them.

In Clare Timoney they have one the best forwards in the game. The Bredagh star scored 1-05 in the 2009 All-Ireland final victory over Limerick and was on the Ulster side which won this years inter-provincial competition.

Mairead Cooper who missed the League through injury is a fast and skillful forward and will be remembered for her wonder goal in the Croke Park final three years ago.

Kirsty McGuinness is a player Louth will be well aware of.

The St.Pauls star was outstanding in the League tie between these sides and also superb in last years U18 final before being forced to retire injured.

She also picked up the player of the match award in the recent Ulster final.

Anna Finnegan is another who will pose a threat to Louth.

She also was absent from the League due to a serious ankle injury and is renowed as a deadly finisher.

Louth received many plaudits for the way they saw off their challengers in Leinster and will be boosted by that success as they take the first step which hopefully takes them back to Croke Park on the last Sunday in September.

Mid-field will a key area and the visitors are well served with the Grace Lynch/Vickki McGinn combination.

Louth can build a platform from there to enable their forward line a regular supply which should be enough to wear down what is certain to be a very strong challenge from the home side.

Louth have youth and a refreshing approach and have hit an impressive 7-56 in their 3 championship outings so far which presents John Hanratty and his backroom team a welcome selection dilema.

Annmarie Murphy made a big impression when introduced after 20 minutes of the Leinster final and will be pushing hard for a starting place on Sunday.

Laura O’Neill also give the management a reminder of her undoubted ability with two excellent points while another sub Lisa Kelly did her prospects no harm with an assured second half display.

They are part of a new generation of exciting footballers waiting to come into the team and another warning to those holding positions that no one is indispensable

The game which has a 2pm throw in and takes place in St Pauls, GFC on the Shaws Road