Ladies aiming to retain Intermediate Connacht title

TG4 Connacht LGFA IFC final:
Roscommon v Leitrim on Sunday in Kiltoom at 4 pm

Leitrim manager Johnny Garrity (left) and Roscommon manager Ollie Lennon (right) pictured with their captains, Michelle Guckian (Leitrim) and Niamh Feeney (Roscommon) ahead of the Intermediate Ladies Connacht Football final this Sunday.

The TG4 Connacht Ladies Intermediate Football final will see Roscommon and Leitrim battle it out for the right to be crowned provincial champions on Sunday.

Outsiders will immediately be swayed by the current league standings of the teams when it comes to forecasting a winner, and with Roscommon having regained Division Two status for next season (a division that will include a Galway team whom will play in Sunday’s senior final), the girls in primrose and blue will start as favourites in their own backyard of Kiltoom.

Roscommon did narrowly lose this season’s Division Three league final against Clare, but recorded six wins and one draw in the group stages, which is impressive form from Ollie Lennon’s charges.

The Roscommon manger was very close to parting ways with the team at the end of last season which had been a difficult one for Roscommon.

At one stage the ladies County Board had seemingly dispensed with his services, however, player pressure dictated that Lennon was reappointed and the response has been positive so far in 2024.

In fairness to the current manager, he was quick to point out at a recent media night that he has received the full support of the County Board and is anxious now to start the championship journey by retaining the Connacht intermediate title.

Roscommon captain Niamh Feeney is also happy the team have turned a corner and is eager to have a more positive championship experience this time around.

The cloud hanging over Leitrim coming into the championship this year is the fact that they are still a Division Four team.

After the league stages of the competition were completed Fermanagh and Leitrim occupied first and second positions, however, league semi-finals are part of the course in the bottom tier and Limerick and Carlow, who were in third and fourth place, won their semi-finals and as a result claimed promotion from the division.

At a recent media night the Leitrim manager, Johnny Garrity, acknowledged it was major disappointment not securing promotion. The Tyrone native is now relishing the prospect of his Leitrim team exploding onto the championship scene.

Recent success for Leitrim club teams such as Ballinamore Sean O’Heslins and Glencar Manor is a major boost to football in the county and now they have to look at trying to win the Connacht Championship.

Some young exciting players have come into the Leitrim fold in recent times but Michelle Guckian is still one of their most important assets. She started her inter-county career as goalkeeper but is now a key forward.

The Kiltubrid player also spoke with excitement about the new class of footballer in Leitrim, and with some of the more senior players still picking up national awards for individual performances, there is no reason why Leitrim would be low in confidence heading into the 2024 Connacht final.