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9 All-Ireland final survivors for Cork and Moloney captains Carr's Tipperary in Páirc Uí Chaoimh opener

Throw-in is 7.30pm tomorrow night.

Cork ladies football boss Ephie Fitzgerald.
Cork ladies football boss Ephie Fitzgerald.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

CORK AND TIPPERARY have shown their respective hands for tomorrow night’s Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 opener at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

With men’s football, hurling and camogie back up and running already, ladies football returns tomorrow night at the iconic Leeside venue [throw-in 7.30pm, live on TG4].

In what should be a thrilling encounter between Munster neighbours, there’s plenty of storylines in both camps going into this one. All-Ireland winning hurling captain Declan Carr takes charge of Tipperary for the first time, having succeeded now-Waterford men’s boss Shane Ronayne in the role earlier this year.

It’s as you were for the Rebels, with 2016 All-Ireland winning manager Ephie Fitzgerald in situ once again. Fitzgerald has named a strong side for the Division 1B clash, with nine starters from last December’s All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin included.

All-Star defender Emma Spillane returns to the team after a year out, named at corner back, with Sarah Hayes given a chance in midfield having impressed with county champions, divisional outfit West Cork, and her club, Rosscarbery, of late.

Another defender in Aisling Kelleher and young attacking duo Sadhbh O’Leary and Emma Cleary also come into the starting team, as does Mourneabbey’s All-Ireland club championship-winning captain Bríd O’Sullivan at full-forward.

Dual star Hannah Looney is named in the half-forwards, having lined out in midfield and at full-back over the past few seasons. Evergreen goalkeeper Martina O’Brien is captain for 2021, with last year’s skipper Doireann O’Sullivan involved, but absent from the 26-strong matchday squad. The bench is a strong one, with many others still to come in.

Sensational forward Aishling Moloney captains Tipperary this season, and is named at half forward in Carr’s first team. She replaces long-serving skipper Samantha Lambert, who hung up her boots in the off-season.

Having also played inter-county camogie last season, The Nenagh Guardian reports that the high-scoring talent is focusing on football for 2021.

The Premier side — as they have been through the years — is full of young and exciting talent.

Though named on the panel, they’ll be without Aussie Rules duo Aisling McCarthy and Orla O’Dwyer this weekend with the pair still Down Under. Both had impressive individual AFLW seasons; dual star O’Dywer finishing up a Premiership champion with Brisbane Lions and McCarthy hitting the ground running in her first season with West Coast Eagles. The latter is currently recovering from a knee injury.

Her Cahir clubmate, Roisin Howard, is named on the bench for tomorrow night.


1. Martina O’Brien (Clonakilty)

2. Shauna Kelly (Araglen Besmonds Buí)
3. Roisin Phelan (St Brigid’s, Dublin)
4. Emma Spillane (Bantry Blues)

5. Erika O’Shea (Macroom)
6. Aisling Kelleher (St Valentine’s)
7. Melissa Duggan (Doheny’s)

8. Máire O’Callaghan (Mourneabbey)
9. Sarah Hayes (Rosscarbery)

10. Orla Finn (Kinsale)
11. Ciara O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey)
12. Hannah Looney (Aghada)

13. Sadhbh O’Leary (Kinsale)
14. Bríd O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey)
15. Emma Cleary (Éire Óg)


1. Lauren Fitzpatrick (Ballymacarbry)


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2. Lucy Spillane (Fethard) 
3. Maria Curley (Templemore)
4. Emma Cronin (Moyles Rovers)

5. Roisin Daly (Moyne/Templetuohy)
6. Caitlin Kennedy (Aherlow)
7. Elaine Kelly (Cappawhite)

8. Anna Rose Kennedy (Aherlow)
9. Elaine Fitzpatrick (Templemore)

10. Edith Carroll (Galtee Rovers/St Pecaun’s)
11. Emma Morrissey (Aherlow)
12. Aishling Moloney (Cahir) — captain

13. Cliona O’Dwyer (Brian Boru)
14. Aine Delaney (Templemore)
15. Marie Creedon (Thurles Sarsfields).


Yesterday, Galway named their side to face Mayo in their MacHale Park opener.

Gerry Fahy opens his reign as Tribe boss against the Green and Red, now under the watchful eye of Michael Moyles, on Saturday evening:

Screenshot 2021-05-20 at 12.00.19 Source: Galway LGFA Instagram.

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

About the author:

Emma Duffy

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