LADIES FOOTBALL: Early Christmas cheer beckons for Fermanagh & Wicklow in 2020 TG4 All-Ireland Junior Final
(Fermanagh captain Courteney Murphy & Wicklow captain Laura Hogan. Photos (c) Matt Browne & David Fitzgerald/Sportfile)
TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Junior Football Championship Finalists Fermanagh and Wicklow are targeting a very Happy Christmas as they prepare for Saturday’s Parnell Park decider (4pm – Live on TG4).
Team captains Courteney Murphy (Fermanagh) and Laura Hogan (Wicklow) were pictured at landmarks synonymous with their respective counties, ahead of what promises to be a fascinating encounter.
Laura visited picturesque Glendalough, while the Cuilcagh Boardwalk trail was Courteney’s destination of choice, as both players connected with breath-taking local scenery.
The West County Hotel Cup and Intermediate Championship football in 2021 are the prizes for the winners of Saturday’s tie – and both counties are ready to provide a live TV feast of Football.
Wicklow go in search of a third Junior crown, having previously tasted success in 1990 and 2011, while Fermanagh, last year’s runners-up, are aiming to repeat their 2017 win.
Both sides have already met in the 2020 Championship, with Wicklow running out 0-9 to 1-2 winners in the group stages of the competition.
That victory saw Wicklow top Group A, and ensure progress to the knockout stages, while Fermanagh accounted for Carlow to finish in second place, and also advance.
Wicklow then saw off the challenge of Antrim at the semi-final stage, scoring 7-11 in the process, while Fermanagh notched 4-10 in their semi-final victory over Limerick.
The Final will take place behind closed doors at Parnell Park, but the game is available to view live on TG4 and worldwide on the TG4 Player: https://www.tg4.ie/en/player/watch-live/home/
2020 marks the 20th season of TG4’s sponsorship of the All-Ireland Ladies Football Championships, as well as the 20th year of live TV coverage of the All-Ireland finals.
Commenting on the long-standing partnership, Ard-Stiúrthóir TG4, Alan Esslemont said: “It is the best example, bar none, of how public service media can work with social and cultural organisations to improve our society.”
Marie Hickey, President of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, added: “This is more than just a sponsorship – it is a partnership that has blossomed and evolved since 2001.
“We have been fortunate to work with a wonderful team in TG4, who share our passion for Ladies Gaelic Football.”
Team captains Courtney Murphy and Laura Hogan are relishing the game that lies in store.
Fermanagh skipper Murphy said: “All-Ireland Finals are the games all players want to be involved in, so for us to have earned our place in this year’s decider is great. We’re really looking forward to having the opportunity to perform in the Final and hopeful that we can finish off the year with silverware.”
Wicklow captain Hogan reflected: “I am very excited about the upcoming All-Ireland final. This is the day that we have been preparing for since last November, so it’s been a long year, but we feel we are ready.”
Both sides will start with huge levels of motivation – Fermanagh to atone for last year’s Final loss to Louth, while Wicklow will be aiming to bounce back to the Intermediate ranks at the first attempt, following relegation in 2019.
Match referee Donegal’s Siobhán Coyle, from the Fanad Gaels club, will take charge of her very first TG4 All-Ireland Final.
Dublin’s Lorraine O’Sullivan is the stand-by referee, Donegal’s Sinéad McHugh will be the 4th official, and the linespersons are Mags Doherty (Wexford) and Yvonne Duffy (Cavan).
2020 TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship Final
Saturday December 5
Fermanagh v Wicklow – Parnell Park, Dublin – 4pm – Live on TG4 and worldwide on the TG4 Player: https://www.tg4.ie/en/player/watch-live/home/Courteney Murphy, Fermanagh LGFA, Laura Hogan, Wicklow LGFA