Compiled by Jackie Cahill
THE All-Ireland U16 Ladies Football champions for 2019 will be crowned this evening, Wednesday, July 24.
In Banagher, Galway will aim for a third successive crown in the A grade, when they take on Meath.
Also in county Offaly, but at St Brendan’s Park in Birr, Longford and Waterford lock horns in the B decider, while it’s the meeting of Louth and Sligo in the C Final in Mullahoran, Co. Cavan.
All three games will get underway at 7pm.
All-Ireland U16 A Final
Galway v Meath; St Rynagh's, Banagher, 7pm
Galway are the holders and aiming to win the title for a fifth time.
The girls from the West won back-to-back All-Ireland U16 A crowns last year, and now they’re going for three-in-a-row.
Meath, in contrast, are back in the All-Ireland U16 A Final for the first time since 2009, when the Royal County defeated Donegal to take the title.
That was Meath’s third All-Ireland U16 A Championship win, following previous successes in 2000 and 2001.
In both of those years at the start of the ‘noughties’, Meath got the better of Galway in Finals. They’ll hope for a similar result this evening.
In their semi-finals, Galway and Meath got past the challenges of Cork and Cavan respectively.
Galway were extremely impressive in their victory over Cork while Meath looked really good as they accounted for Cavan.
Galway have the Final experience, and that could prove crucial. In total, there are seven players named who lined out from the start in the gripping 2018 Final victory over Kerry, a classic tie in Toomevara that went to extra-time.
Kate Slevin scored 1-7 in the 2018 Final and will line out again in this one, while Chellene Trill, who was player of the match against the Kingdom 12 months ago, captains the side.
Galway: A Griffin; S Fahy, E Madden, S Brennan; K Kearney, C Trill, E O’Connor; E Power, M Glynn; I Davoren, V Crowley, C Cleary; L Kelly, E Noone, K Slevin.
Meath: A Corcoran; K Kealy, E.J. McKeon, E Regan; Z Matthews, L McEnery, M Clarke; E Brodigan, T Foster-Carroll; A McNulty, A O’Dowd, C Smyth; N Smith, L O’Neil, N McEntee.
All-Ireland U16 B Final
Longford v Waterford; St Brendan's Park, Birr, 7pm
This evening’s opponents are hoping to succeed Mayo as All-Ireland U16 B champions, and Longford have some pedigree in the All-Ireland U16 Championships.
The Midlanders won the All-Ireland U16 B title back in 2011 and just three years ago, they were crowned All-Ireland U16 C champions.
Indeed, when you consider that Longford boast a 100 per cent record from appearances in All-Ireland U16 Finals, that’s an impressive strike rate.
In the 1990s, Waterford were a formidable force in the All-Ireland U16 A Championship, winning five titles in 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996 and 1998.
In more recent times, the Déise have tasted success in the All-Ireland U16 B Championship twice, in 2015 and 2017, while they were also All-Ireland U16 B Shield winners in 2009.
In their semi-finals, Longford and Waterford got past the challenges of Tyrone and Roscommon respectively.
Interestingly, Longford and Waterford scored five goals each in those games, and green flags were critical to the outcome of both fixtures, as Tyrone and Roscommon registered more points than their opponents.
Longford: R McGrath; A Wilson, T Alaba, G Kenny; C McCormack, A Donnelly, L Shannon; G Shannon, M O’Kane; E Lynn, L McGuire, S Tully; K Burke, M Mulvhill, K Shannon.
Waterford: N Nic Iomhair; M O’Grady, E Gough, R Jones; R Ní Mhuirí, G Nugent, E O’Neill; E Power, B McMaugh; H Phelan, E Quirke, C Hynes; C Walsh, A O’Neill, A Brazil.
All-Ireland U16 C Final
Louth v Sligo; Mullahoran, Co. Cavan, 7pm
Louth have appeared in an All-Ireland U16 final, the B decider in 2016, but the Wee County lost out to Tipperary on that occasion.
For Sligo, this is a very first All-Ireland U16 Final and it should be an occasion to savour for both of the competing teams.
In their semi-finals, Louth and Sligo got past the challenges of Armagh and Clare respectively. Louth delivered an impressive display against neighbours Armagh, registering a 2-7 to 0-6 win.
Sligo, meanwhile, scored five goals in their 5-5 to 1-9 victory against Clare.
Louth: R Lambe Fagan; A Farrell, C O’Reilly, Á Carolan; E McEntaggert, K Carolan, L Johnson; S Turley, M Duffy; A Briscoe, R Leonard, R Maguire; A Keenan, E McBride, S Halligan.
Sligo: C Flanagan; E Norman, O Fleming, M Kelly; C Cox, E Hamilton, A Kennedy; L Oates, C Connor; M Molloy, S Dalton, A O’Brien; L Duffy, F Feeney, M Casserley.Tweet