Marie Keating in action for Ireland in Melbourne
LIMERICK’S Marie Keating and her Irish team-mates have qualified for the Grand Final of the AFL International Cup in Melbourne.
Killeedy’s Keating is an integral part of the Irish women's team, known as the Alfa Irish Banshees for sponsorship reasons, that is taking part in the AFL International Cup, the de facto World Cup of Aussie Rules.
In the early hours of this Saturday morning (Irish time), Ireland play Canada in the Grand Final in the 56,347 capacity Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
The final is the curtain-raiser to the AFL clash of Carlton and Hawthorn.
Saturday’s final will be streamed live, at 7.30am, on the AFL International Cup YouTube Channel
Ireland beat USA, European Crusaders and Papua New Guinea in the group stages before defeating European champions Great Britain in the semi final.
Ireland are coached by Tom Madigan.
“The girls deserved the win, the leaders really stepped up Marie Keating, Laura Corrigan-Duryea and Gil Behan were unbelievable,” said Madigan after the semi final win.
“They’ve done the hard bit to get there, now they just have to go and get one more,” he said of the final, which Ireland lost in 2014. Back in 2011, Ireland and Keating previously this competition.
Former Limerick senior camogie and ladies football player Marie Keating is a regular on the Irish team for the past number of years.
A Killeedy camogie club player and former Abbeyfeale club rugby player, Keating was introduced to Aussie Rules during her time in Australia
Her Aussie Rules career also saw her win an All Australian medal while in Sydney. Indeed during her five years there, she was named in the Sydney Women’s AFL Team of the Decade in 2008.