Galway and Dublin vie to take Brendan Martin home

Last year's All-Ireland runners-up Dublin take on Galway in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies football final in Croke Park today (3.10pm) and either way, the Brendan Martin Cup will be going to a new home.

Last year's All-Ireland runners-up Dublin take on Galway in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies football final in Croke Park today (3.10pm) and either way, the Brendan Martin Cup will be going to a new home.

Galway, who had to beat reigning champions Mayo twice to earn their place, contest the final for the first time since 1975. Dublin have won the last three Leinster titles, but both sides are seeking the title for the first time ever.

However, with Dubs' veteran John O'Leary in charge, the ladies from the capital are looking to benefit from playing in front of a home crowd to go one better than last year, when they lost to Mayo, who clinched a last-minute goal to win out.

Dublin looked inpenetrable as they strolled through Leinster but Donegal took them to extra-time in the quarter-final and they leaked three goals in the semi-final win over Kerry.

Midfield is the crucial area for Dublin, with their star player of this year, Fiona Corcoran, flanking captain Martina Farrell from Ballyboden.

O'Leary has discounted the threat to his defence that Kerry posed by naming an unchanged side for today's clash.

There is no starting place again for 2001 All Star Louise Kelly, following her omission from the match against the Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Galway manager PJ Fahy, a brother of former Offaly manager Gerry, has youth on his side.

Patricia Gleeson, Niamh Fahy, Gillian Joyce, Emer Flaherty, Una Carroll and Niamh Duggan are all still teenagers.

Galway have made two changes for today, but Fahy has also shuffled his remaining charges.

Geraldine Conneally, who scored a goal in the semi-final, starts at right corner-forward in place of Gillian Joyce.

Fiona Wynne loses out to Marie O'Connell, who has returned from injury, and Anne-Marie McDonagh, who replaced O'Connell at Dr Hyde Park a fornight ago, takes her position at left-corner back. Annette Clarke captains the side.

The Tribeswomen met championship specialists, Mayo, twice in Connacht, beating them both times. The sides played out a thrilling draw in the recent All-Ireland semi-final in Portlaoise, but six days later, Galway won by a point in the replay.

Dublin are the favourites to win, having contested the final last year and playing on what some would say is their home turf. However, the young Galway side will be boosted by the wins over Mayo and will want to rub salt in their neighbours' wounds by coming home with the cup.

DUBLIN (SF v Galway): C O'Connor; S Farrelly, N Comyn, M Kavanagh; N McEvoy, L Keegan, G Fay; M Farrell (capt), F Corcoran; E Kelly, B Finlay, L Davey;, A McCormack, A McNally, M Nevin.

GALWAY (SF v Dublin): U Carroll; M O'Connell, R Stephens, AM McDonagh; A Daly, A Gilmore, E Flaherty; A Clarke (capt), P Gleeson; L Cohill, N Fahey, N Duggan; G Conneally, L Joyce, E Concannon.

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