Ballyboden confident of retaining crown

IT WAS ladies' day at Croke Park yesterday, as the captain of Donaghmoyne and vice-captain of Ballyboden St. Enda's met at headquarters ahead of the All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Club Championship Final.

It will be played in Drogheda next Sunday (2pm).

Excitement is mounting ahead of the final, which promises to be one of the most closely contested for years. Monaghan kingpins Donaghmoyne are attempting to dethrone champions Ballyboden St. Enda's in what will be their first appearance in an All-Ireland club final.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's clash, the vice-captain of Ballyboden St. Enda's, Aishling Farrelly, said her club was looking forward to a second successive club final appearance.

"Obviously being the reigning champions we will go into the game with a certain amount of confidence, but we know that Donaghmoyne will be well up for the game. They are a bit of an unknown quantity to us but they had a good win in the semi-final and I'm sure they will be going all out to take our title."

Aine Gilsenan, captain of Donaghmoyne, is confident that her side can seize their big chance.

"This is our first club final and you don't know when you may get a chance to play in one again so the girls are looking to make the most of this opportunity. Everything has been going great in training and everyone is looking forward to it, so hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves on Sunday".

Three in-a-row county champions Donaghmoyne disposed of a highly rated St Brendan's of Galway in their semi-final. They used their home advantage to chalk up a 2-7 to 0-9 victory over the Connacht champions and they're in convincing form as they head into Sunday's encounter.

The other semi-final was a repeat of the 2004 fixture with Ballyboden again taking on Cork rivals Donoughmore. The first game ended in a draw after a last-gasp point by the Cork side. Ballyboden made no mistake at the second time of asking and booked their place in their second final in as many years with a performance that has them hotly tipped for honours on Sunday.

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