Kilbride hoping to return to summit
Roscommon LGFA Abbey Hotel SFC Final: Kilbride v Clann na nGael in Ballyforan on Saturday at 4pm
It’s a form of ‘Grounddog Day’ for ladies football in the county with senior heavyweights Clann and Kilbride meeting again in the county final.
The transformation in the fortunes of the Clann na nGael ladies senior team will once again be evident on Saturday as the Johnstown women put their title on the line in a repeat of the 2021 final with Kilbride in the opposite corner once again.
Only a couple of years ago Kilbride were the undisputed queens of football in Roscommon, sweeping all before them as they dominated the senior scene, winning five titles on the spin (and in some style too). But since the appointment of Finbar Egan as manager, the arrival of star player Jenny Shine (formerly Higgins) – and a renewed appetite for success – Clann have become the team to beat.
What looks like a rock-solid Clann outfit has breezed through this championship en route to the final. Jenny Shine and Orla O’Neill form a formidable pairing in the middle of the park, but there are plenty of other influential players on the side such as Kelley Colgan, Ruth Finlass, Rose Lennon, Aine Connaughton, Fiona Scally and Sinead Farrell, to name just a few.
Clann have been putting up big scores and Kilbride will have to devise a plan to restrict their attack.
Kilbride are into the final by the skin of their teeth with Aisling Hanly scoring a late goal to edge them past St Brigid’s. It’s a Kilbride team full of experienced players. Corina Gormley, Fiona Tully, Yvonne Creighton, Niamh and Aisling Shanagher, Jennifer Fannon, Sinead Clabby and the multi-talented Aisling Hanly are all top class performers who will relish going into this final as the rank outsiders.
In last year’s final Kilbride led Clann by nine points at one stage in the first half before the Johnstown women took over in the second half to sweep to a nine-point victory. Clann will have been warned.
You can bet your bottom dollar/euro that Kilbride will have a game plan to stop Clann and to hit them on the counter-attack. If the Kilbride attack gets enough ball they have the players to do damage, but in reality anything other than a comfortable Clann win would be a major shock. They look too strong around the field.
Prediction: Clann na nGael