This Sunday in Mullahoran in Cavan at 2pm, the Caltra Cuans ladies football team will face St. Enda’s (Tyrone) in the All-Ireland Junior final replay.
The game was due to be played before Christmas, but was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions and now, five weeks later than anticipated, the two sides will do battle again.
Caltra Cuans team manager, Gabriel Naughton, whose own two daughters are involved with the side is looking forward to the fray, and is hopeful that his young side – the average age of the team is 21 – will be in top form.
“We took a bit of a break over Christmas, but we have been back to full-steam for the past few weeks and are optimistic of getting a win on Sunday. The excitement is building in the club and we hope to see a big crowd from the local area in Mullahoran to cheer us on. In a tight game, vocal supporters can make an enormous difference to a team’s chances of winning. A lot of flags and banners are being dusted down again and it is fantastic to see the All-Ireland buzz back in the community.”
Caltra Cuans have three U-16s and four minors in their ranks and are not a big physical team, so they have to play a very fast brand of football to have a chance of collecting the All-Ireland trophy.
Naughton, who was in the backroom team when Caltra won the senior club All-Ireland in 2004, knows what his side have to do.
“We try to move the ball at speed and not to take it into contact. We have some fantastically skilful and speedy girls in our squad and if we are to win, we will need to play at a very high tempo and not get into a physical battle with the Tyrone team”.
Caltra Cuans are a relatively new club and they had a terrific year in 2010, winning the Galway Junior title and the All-Ireland sevens title at Junior level. Their rise from Junior C level to Intermediate in 2011 has been startling.
On a broader level, Naughton is extremely positive about ladies football in general and feels that Galway are on the right track at under age level.
“Ladies football is a growing sport and is becoming increasingly popular in Galway. It is a very enjoyable and skilful game and the rules make it a very attractive game for both players and supporters”.
There is one injury concern for Sunday as Orla Hannon is a doubt with a twisted ankle, but team management are hopeful she will be able to take her place.
The team that lined out in the drawn game was Lucy Greene, Sinead Flood, Cariosa McHugh, Helen Cullinane, Aoife Ni Cheallaigh, Sarah Noone, Aine Tully, Laura Naughton, Ciara Kilroy (Capt), Emma Naughton, Orla Kilkenny, Niamh Kilkenny, Breda Hanlon, Orla Hannon and Aine Mannion. Above: Injury doubt Orlaith Hannon
(Taken from Galway Advertiser Thursday 20th Jan)
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