TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship Semi-Final
Monaghan v Galway, Saturday, 4.00, Breffni Park
Monaghan return to Cavan – the scene of their All-Ireland quarter-final demolition of Laois – for Saturday’s semi-final against Galway.
Wins over Donegal and Tyrone saw Monaghan retain the Ulster title and they turned on the style against Laois in the last eight to move within one win of a second All-Ireland final in three years. Galway, who last reached the decider in 2005, represent a significant step-up in standard of opposition for Monaghan, as they defeated Monaghan’s league semi-final conquerors Mayo in the Connacht final, before putting Tyrone to the sword last time out. Gregory McGonigle’s side had won their seven group games prior to that Division One league semi-final, while Galway finished joint-top of Division Two before losing the final narrowly to Kerry, who have also enjoyed a good championship; winning the Munster title and qualifying for next weekend’s semi-final.
Monaghan have strength in all areas of the pitch, from a solid full-back line of Gráinne McNally, Sharon Courtney and Christina Reilly, right through to the full-forwards Cathriona McConnell, Niamh Kindlon and Ciara McAnespie. The in-form Caoimhe Mohan and Cora Courtney, team captain Therese McNally and Amanda Casey are others who will have big parts to play.
Galway have a strong midfield in Annette Clarke and Geraldine Conneally, dangerous forwards such as Lorna Joyce, Edel Concannon and Róisín Leonard and attack-minded wing-backs Sinéad Burke and Rebecca McPhilbin. Monaghan will face a much tougher test this time, but if they can continue their impressive form, a return to Croke Park could well be theirs.
Monaghan: Linda Martin; Gráinne McNally, Sharon Courtney, Christina Reilly; Laura McEnaney, Ellen McCarron, Aoife McAnespie; Amanda Casey, Eileen McKenna; Therese McNally (Capt.), Caoimhe Mohan, Cora Courtney; Cathriona McConnell, Niamh Kindlon, Ciara McAnespie.
Galway: Johanna Connolly; Nora Ward, Mairéad Coyne, Barbara Hannon; Rebecca McPhilbin, Emer Flaherty, Sinéad Burke (Capt.); Annette Clarke, Geraldine Conneally; Catherine Cormican, Aoibheann Daly, Tracey Leonard; Róisín Leonard, Lorna Joyce, Edel Concannon.