This coming Sunday sees the climax of the 2017 playing season for Leinster Ladies as six inter county teams descend on Netwatch Cullen Park for the Championship Finals.
First up at noon is the meeting of neighbours Carlow and Kilkenny. The only two Junior Counties in Leinster, this is a straightforward final and it promises to be an entertaining contest. Both teams will be looking forward to competitive action since they ended their League action back in April. This is relatively unknown territory for Kilkenny as this is their first year fielding at adult level for some time. Carlow however are no strangers to the Junior Final having been beaten by eventual All Ireland Junior Champions, Longford in the 2016 Junior decider.
The second game of the day features last year’s Intermediate runners up, Wexford and regraded side Meath. The sides reached the final with wins over Offaly and Longford respectively. The teams are certainly not strangers as they have faced each other twice this year already, the Wexford Ladies coming out on top on both occasions. In Division Three League back in March, the team from the sunny south east won out on a 3-13 to 0-14 scoreline. Wexford went on to contest the Division Three Final against Tipperary and forced a second day out with a last minute Fiona Rochford free before succumbing to defeat in the replay. In their recent meeting in the Leinster Championship round robin, Wexford had just four points to spare over the Royals, 1-15 to 1-11. This third meeting of the teams promises to be an intriguing battle and arguably the closest game of the afternoon – one certainly not to be missed!
At 4pm, and streamed live on TG4’s YouTube Channel for the first time, Dublin and Westmeath will contest the 2017 Senior Final. While Westmeath earned their place in the final with round robin wins over Laois and Kildare, Dublin drew Laois in the semi-final and had an incredible thirty-one points to spare at the full-time whistle. This is Dublin’s sixth successive appearance in the Leinster Senior Final and the third year in a row they face Westmeath in the final. Dublin will surely want to add to their trophy cabinet and ensure themselves of a place in the All Ireland Quarter Finals as this year’s All Ireland competition begins to take shape! Westmeath have enjoyed a successful season so far having defeated Cavan in the Division Two Final replay back in May. Player of the Match Leona Archibold hit 1-06 for her side as they overcame the Breffni County by 3-15 to 0-11 in the replay, securing Division One status for the 2018 season for the first time ever. It has been a meteoric rise for Westmeath as they were crowned Division Four Champions back in 2011. Their rise to Division One status has been backed up by their appearance in the last two Leinster finals and Stephen Maxwell’s side will be looking to get their hands on the coveted Senior trophy. With leaders all over the field for both sides, this year’s Senior Final is set to be an engaging battle of skill and determination and supporters from both counties are sure to be in full voice!
Admission on Sunday is €15 per adult with just €5 for OAPs and students (with valid ID cards). Children under the age of 16 are completely free and clubs and counties are urged to ensure their teams are well supported on Sunday!
Sunday 9th July – Netwatch Cullen Park
TG4 Leinster Junior Final; Carlow v Kilkenny at 12pm, ref Cathy Forde
TG4 Leinster Intermediate Final; Meath v Wexford at 2pm, ref Des McEnery
TG4 Leinster Senior Final; Dublin v Westmeath at 4pm, ref Jonathan Murphy