Ladies aiming for league title success

CHASING THEIR DREAM

Lidl Ladies NFL Division 3 Final:
Roscommon v Clare in Birr on Saturday at 4 pm

St Brigid’s player Kate Nolan has been pivotal to Roscommon’s success in midfield this season. Pic: Bernie O’Farrell

What a difference a year makes. In last year’s National League campaign Roscommon didn’t win a game – while off the field there was plenty of by now well documented controversy.

The future looked bleak, but fast-forward to April 2024 and the team have just completed their league campaign unbeaten, manager Ollie Lennon has returned and been vindicated, and the Roscommon players have been revitalised too.

Promotion is already secured and now the team can set the seal on a fantastic campaign with some silverware if they are successful when they face Clare in the divisional final on Saturday.

The league table does not lie. The two best teams in the division meet in this decider. If fact this is a rivalry that goes back a few years and there is never much between the sides. When they met during the campaign in Ennis the game ended in a draw.

Clare will be anxious to win this final after they lost to Kildare by a single point in the All-Ireland intermediate final in 2023 in heartbreaking fashion. They have a number of top class performers, especially in attack. Caoimhe Harvey, Chloe Moloney, Ailish Considine and Fidelma Marrinan will need to be marked closely if Roscommon are to win the trophy.

Roscommon will be hoping that team captain Niamh Feeney and Aisling Feely will be able to take some part in Saturday’s final. Both have been out with injuries in recent weeks.

Ollie Lennon will be looking for inspirational displays from the likes of Helena Cummins, Rachel Fitzmaurice, Ellen Irwin, Caoimhe Cregg, Saoirse Wynne, Laura Fleming and Aisling Hanly, players who have backboned the team in their great run in this campaign.

This will be a very competitive match and Roscommon will have to produce a top class display to win it. But momentum is a huge factor in sport and coming into the final unbeaten will stand to Roscommon.

Bringing home the cup would be a fantastic way for Roscommon to complete their renaissance. It will be close, but Roscommon can win it.

Prediction: Roscommon.