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INPHO/Morgan Treacy Limerick captain, Michelle Casey and Galway counterpart, Sinead Keane who face off in the intermediate final on Sunday.
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GALWAY ARE SEEKING All-Ireland glory on the double on Sunday as their intermediate side go head-to-head with Limerick in the curtain-raiser to the senior decider.

Twelve months ago the Tribeswomen were denied the title they last won in 2009, by Derry in a replay, but team captain Sinead Keane is hopeful that the experience of playing Croke Park last year can help them this time around.

“It is [a help] more for the occasion,” she says. “Finals don’t come around that often, but it’s a big day, coming into Croke Park, getting your Garda escort in, coming out onto the pitch, it’s a big occasion. The experience of that last year will stand to us but on any given day a match is there to be won and lost, and finals are never easy won so we’re focussed on the match.”

She also pointed out that having the senior team back in the final alongside them has been a huge help, even though it means a busy day for the management team led by Tony Ward as they manage both the senior and intermediate teams.

“Both teams are preparing together, working together so we are on the one page and looking forward to the one goal. We have been training together for the last two years. We have the same management, the squads train together and apart from match days we are all the one panel really.

“Yeah, it does, it brings the intensity up. We are all training together, both preparing for an All-Ireland final so it’s a big thing for us to be part of the senior final.

“It’s going to be a busy day for the management team, they’ll have our game obviously first and then will have about 40 minutes between the end of our match and the start of the senior one. They’ll have a busy time and have earned their rest after it’s all over,” she added.


Looking at final opponents Limerick, Keane pointed out that while the Treaty women will offer a massive test, they are keen to focus on their own game ahead of Sunday’s challenge.

“We played them in the league, they are very strong, and it is their first team. They beat us in the league by four points, they are league champions, and we know we have a tough task on our hands but we are concentrating on our own game and we’ll see what happens on the day.”

Limerick captain Michelle Casey is equally adamant that they will not be concentrating too much on the opposition but rather hoping to get their own game right as they go in search of a first All-Ireland intermediate All-Ireland since 2007 when they beat Cork in the final.

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“You probably have to focus on your own game and not worry too much about the opposition. I watched the game here last year and I’m sure every player in Limerick wanted to be where Galway were,” she says

“You can’t right the wrongs of the past though; we can’t win the matches we’ve lost in the past and Galway right the wrongs from last year so you just have to focus on the current. They’re a good team, they’ve got good players.”

Having two teams in the final will also help Galway she believes but Casey is confident that the Division Two league champions can cope with those distractions.

“They’ll have great support here on the day but you know we are preparing well, we’re happy with the way things have gone so far. We can rely on the work that has gone in and the preparations that have gone in since early January. It’s all about performing on the day and whether you’re one point ahead at the end of the day or whatever, all that matters is that final result.”

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