Ladies Football preview: Kerry v Mayo

TG4 Senior Championship – Quarter Final (extra time will be played if necessary) (live on TG4)

Mayo v Kerry, St Brendan’s Park, Birr, 4.15pm (P Kehoe)

This is a repeat of last year’s Round 1 Qualifier meeting which Kerry won by a single point.

Indeed, between that Round 1 loss and off field rancour making more headlines than on field progress, 2010 may well go down in Mayo Ladies Football history as their annus horribilis.

2011 wasn’t looking much better either with no wins in Division 1 and relegation to Division 2 resulting but less than three months later, things are looking up for the Westerners as they dethroned Galway as Connacht champions.

The turnaround in fortunes, and that win in particular, did not come easy – centre back Martha Carter limped off in the warm up and they lost influential corner back Marie Corbett to a dislocated elbow early on. They now face a Kerry side who have bounced back magnificently from their Munster Final loss to Cork with a very impressive win over Donegal in the Qualifiers.

Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh is once again their chief scorer this year but Sarah Houlihan and Louise Galvin have also shown good form and they will be keen to reach the Semi-Final for the second year in a row.

However, you get the feeling that this is about so much more for this Mayo team and with Cora Staunton back to her best, they will take some stopping.

Mayo: Y Byrne (c), L Ryder, C Hanahoe, D McDonagh, N Hurst, M Carter, N Tierney, C Egan, F McHale, S Cafferkey, A Gilroy, K Sullivan, C Hegarty, C Staunton, L Cafferkey

Kerry: E Murphy, C Kelly, A Leonard, A Lyons, D Hallissey, A Desmond, SJ Joy, L Scanlon, B Breen (c), M Quirke, M O Donoghue, L Galvin, S Houlihan, P Dennehy, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh


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