Age-old rivals meet in new surroundings

Cooley Kickhams and Newtown Blues renew championship final rivalry on Sunday next, the green-and-gold and the sky blue going on show at Castlebellingham’s Grove pitch.

Cooley Kickhams and Newtown Blues renew championship final rivalry on Sunday next, the green-and-gold and the sky blue going on show at Castlebellingham’s Grove pitch.

The colours, however, won’t be worn by Brian White or Andy McDonnell, but by the fair ladies of the clubs separated by the length of the county.

Sunday is Louth football’s ladies’ day, the meeting of Kickhams and Blues (3.30pm) the main event on a three-match programme. Kilkerley and Dreadnots come together at noon for the junior final, and after that Dowdallshill play St Bride’s in intermediate, this one with a 1.45pm throw-in.

The senior championship comes of age this year, this being the 21st running of a competition first won for the first time by St Joseph’s in 1993. Cooley have been there from the start, enjoying outstanding success, including a five-in-a-row. But Sunday’s final will be a new experience for Blues, who first competed in ladies’ football 14 years ago.

The Drogheda side have, however, momentum behind them. They won the junior in 2010 and followed that with an intermediate 12 months later. And then in their first year in senior, they claimed a championship win over Cooley in one of the early rounds.

Clearly, Cooley, who are back in the final for the first time since 2007, will have to come up with something special if they are to bring their title-count to nine.

Michael Heeney, who has a long association with ladies football, having coached in a number of counties, is in the Dowdallshill camp with Thomas O’Connor. He’ll be bringing all of his experience to bear as the Newry Road team try to go one better, having been beaten by St Kevin’s in last year’s final. They face a stiff task. St Bride’s have several senior championship medal-winners with Naomh Malachi in their outfit.

There’ll be no short of support for Kilkerley and Dreadnots in the opening match of a programme, which is a showcase for the very best in ladies’ football. Both were formed just two years ago and are seeking a first title.

Okay, so there’ll be many who’ll want to see Clare and Limerick in the All-Ireland hurling final, but for those who don’t, ladies’ day at The Grove should provide lots of entertainment.