Wicklow name unchanged side for All-Ireland final

Wicklow have named an unchanged side for Saturday’s All-Ireland Junior Championship final against Fermanagh.

Wicklow start with the same 15 that started against Antrim in the semi-final.

The two counties have already met in the 2020 TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship will meet again at Parnell Park on Saturday to decide the destination of the West County Hotel Cup.  

Wicklow beat Fermanagh by four points – 0-9 to 1-2 – in the group stages and another close encounter is anticipated at Parnell Park.  

There’s huge motivation for both teams to claim the silverware, and also the added prize of 2021 Intermediate Championship football.  

Lucy Mulhall scores a wonder goal against New York when Wicklow last won the All-Ireland in 2011

Fermanagh, Junior Champions in 2017, were runners-up last year, while Wicklow, who were Junior Champions in 1990 and 2011, are aiming to bounce back to the Intermediate grade at the first attempt, following relegation last year.  

Both teams are capable of racking up a big score, as evidenced in their respective semi-finals.  

Wicklow put 7-11 past Antrim, while Fermanagh registered 4-10 in their victory over Limerick, who were Junior winners in 2018.  

It’s set up for an intriguing encounter, with both counties boasting forwards of rich quality, midfielders capable of dictating the course of a game, tight-marking defenders, and very capable goalkeepers.  

Eimear Smyth was the 2019 TG4 Junior Players’ Player of the Year, and the Fermanagh forward has been in blistering form again this season.  

She’s at the top of the scoring charts with a massive haul of 5-11 to date, which is five points clear of Wicklow’s Meadhbh Deeney, who has contributed 4-11 in Wicklow’s campaign.  

Bláithín Bogue, Joanne Doonan and Róisín O’Reilly are other Fermanagh players who have the ability to aid the Erne County’s scoring cause, while Marie Kealy (1-12 thus far), Clodagh Fox (3-1), captain Laura Hogan (1-7) and Sarah Miley (1-2) have also contributed hugely to Wicklow.  

Fermanagh manager Jonny Garrity and his players will be hoping to erase the memories of last year’s Final heartbreak at the hands of Louth, while Wicklow boss Mark Murnaghan (in his first season in charge) and his players will hope to secure the Garden County’s first Junior crown in nine years.  

Fermanagh captain Courteney Murphy has shrugged off a hand injury and is named in the starting line-up, while Wicklow are unchanged.  

 Wicklow: L Dempsey; E Mulhall, SJ Winders, L Dunne; A Conroy, S Hogan, J Nolan Byrne; A Gorman, J Kinch; L Ahern, L Hogan (capt.), S Miley; C Fox, M Deeney, M Kealy.  

Fermanagh: S Murphy; S McQuade, E Murphy, M McGloin; M Flynn, C Murphy (capt.), S McCarville; R O’Reilly, A Flanagan; S McCausland, R McDonald, A Maguire; J Doonan, E Smyth, A O’Brien. 

Fermanagh v Wicklow – Parnell Park, 4.00pm – Live on TG4: https://www.tg4.ie/en/player/watch-live/home/

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