FOR the first time since 2016 the Limerick ladies football team will play in county GAA headquarters. 2018 All-Ireland junior champions Limerick make begin their 2019 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Championship this Saturday (2pm) against Kildare in the LIT Gaelic Grounds. Limerick have three group games but will be away to Down and Sligo in the next two games.
John Ryan's Limerick will be looking to regroup after losing both games in the Munster IFC to Clare and Tipperary.
“Saturday is a massive game for Limerick ladies football – we are just after winning promotion to come up, so we need to know where we are at,” said John Ryan ahead of the All-Ireland Championship opener.
He added: “We know we can compete at this level”.
“Those games against Tipperary and Clare opened our eyes to a lot and especially the power, pace and intensity that teams are playing at up in the intermediate level.”
In a group of four, the top two teams will advance to the quarter finals, while the bottom team will be involved in a relegation play-off.
The Limerick manager is urging his side to reach their potential for the first time this season.
“We never got going in the league at all – whether it was an All-Ireland hangover or what it was, we didn’t do ourselves justice,” recalled Ryan of the Lidl Ladies Football League, where Fermanagh ended the Limerick Division Four campaign in the semi final.
In the championship Limerick face Kildare, Down and Sligo, who all played Division Three League football.
“They are a strong outfit overall – loads of football, loads of running and will be a big test for us,” said Ryan of Kildare.
It’s going to be a busy weekend of championship action for Limerick’s three dual players. Rebecca Delee, Roisin Ambrose and Niamh Ryan are all likely starters for both the Limerick ladies football and camogie teams that have games this weekend.
While Ciara Ryan is carrying an injury, one player that certainly won’t be involved on Saturday is goalkeeper Maire Lyons, who is ruled out with a knee injury.
Rebecca McGuinness (Dromcollogher-Broadford) is likely to make her championship debut in Lyons’ absence with Sophie Hennessy (Old Mill) called into the panel as back-up.
Another new addition to the panel since the League and Munster Championship is Iris Kennelly. The young Old Mill player is an exciting forward addition to the panel with fellow attackers Katie Heelan and Andrea O’Sullivan also back after their Leaving Certificate commitments.
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