COLAISTE Iosagain are hoping to complete an historic year with a first-ever All-Ireland schools ladies football senior A title this Saturday in Dr Cullen Park when they take on Colaiste Dun Iascaigh.
Before Christmas, the Booterstown school became the first Dublin school to win a Leinster A football title when they saw off Loreto Wexford. A subsequent All-Ireland semi-final victory over St Paul’s from Armagh has earned them this shot at a maiden national title of this magnitude.
They do have experience of the top table, though, having won the Under-16 B All-Ireland title two years ago while they also reached the Leinster final a year ago.
“It’s more or less the same team that lost the Leinster final last year with only one of the side [having done] the Leaving Cert last year and they were very close to getting the title,” explains manager Cathal Pleimeann.
He says their Leinster victory was a breakthrough moment and that his squad are developing plenty of experience of the big occasion.
Six of the side are part of the Dublin minor football panel this year while Doireann Ni Mhaoileannaigh is the current Dublin minor camogie captain.
In addition, Aedin Ni Dhonaill, Eabha Ruitleis and Aoife Ni Chathain lined out for the Leinster interprovincial schools side, showing the calibre of players in situ.
They hail from clubs across south Dublin with members of Kilmacud Crokes, Cuala, Foxrock Cabinteely, Ballinteer St John’s, Naomh Olaf and Ballyboden St Enda’s all included in the panel.
“Some of the girls have played in All-Ireland finals before with Dublin while a lot of them would have played with the school in the All-Ireland two years ago. There’s also two girls who were part of the Dublin senior B panel as well that won their All-Ireland. With 15 players that are Leaving Cert on the panel out of the 25, there is that bit of experience which will be a big help to us. Hopefully, on the day we will be good enough to win it but you never know.”
Speaking about the Tipperary-based opposition, though, the manager says he is well aware of the quality Colaiste Dun Iascaigh bring.
“We went up to the semi-finals to have a look at them play against Pres Athenry who won the All-Ireland last year. [Dun Iascaigh] had some very good players and are in the Under-16A final this year so they’re strong. They won the junior Camogie earlier in the season so they are very good.”