GAA Football

Carrickmore out to defend Ulster Ladies Junior crown against Cavan's Lurgan

Louise Gunn

Ulster Minor Club Championship Final: Carrickmore (Tyrone) (holders) v Lurgan (Cavan) (Sunday, Augher, 1.30pm)

ULSTER champions Carrickmore are 60 minutes away from back-to-back provincial titles but must get past the challenge of Cavan side Lurgan in Sunday's final if they are to retain their crown.

It's the final game of the ladies club season, not just in Ulster but across the country and there's plenty at stake. The Tyrone side will go into the weekend's decider as favourites but they are coming up against a Lurgan team who have been equally as impressive on route to this stage. Victory for Lurgan would cap a memorable season with the club clinching the county title for the first time since 2018 and they made their mark in Ulster knocking out previous winners Termon in the quarter-finals before falling short against champions Donaghmoyne in the semis while they also won the Division One League title last month.

Lurgan, looking to become the first team from Cavan since Easter Gaels in 2014 to win this title, have scored 6-34 in two games – 4-17 against Derry champions Magherafelt in the quarter-finals and 2-17 against last year's beaten finalists, Emmet Og of Monaghan. In those two games, they have kept two clean sheets and conceded just nine points and both wins were away from home as well.

Their defence has been strong so far, the threat of opposition forwards thwarted by a solid defence consisting of Aoife Murphy, Cora McDonnell, Kristina Grigorenka, Meabh and Sinead Kelly and Sydney Gregg.

They also have a number of players on that county winning senior team including their captain Ciara Brady, Grigorenka, McDonnell, Sinead Kelly, Niamh Tolan and Eabha Hayes.

Their scores can come from any number of players. In their semi-final win, six different players got on the scoresheet – Emma Tolan at full-forward hit 1-5, Brady who plays at centre half forward grabbed 102 and corner forward Shanna Galligan got five points.

Carrickmore equally have played an extra game, having a preliminary round victory over Dungloe, before seeing off Kinawley in the last eight and Clann Eireann in the semi-finals. In their three games they have managed to score 12-23, conceding 4-17. Their ability to find the back of the net has been crucial in getting them past their opposition and in Sorcha and Caitlin Gormley they have real goal machines, the latter hitting 3-7 against Dungloe. Siofra Loughton, Maeve McCrystal and Lauren McMahon are all and they can call on the county experience of the likes of Aoibheann Daly and Clodagh Munroe as well.

This one could be a real goal fest and with the elements to contend with as well it is anyone's taking on the day.

GAA Football