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Macartans Face Huge Challenge

Sunday 19.11.2017
Team Talk Mag
Club


 

St Macartan’s are aiming to keep their football season going a little while longer on Sunday as they welcome Carnacon of Mayo to Fr Hackett Park. When the experienced Cathy Maguire declares that this All-Ireland senior ladies club football semi-final is the biggest game of her career, it’s worth sitting up and taking notice.
Back in 2010 she was stil Cathy Donnelly when she lined out in a TG4 All-Ireland senior final for Tyrone back in 2010 at Croke Park. Maguire has amassed a wealth of experience with club and county – but getting to line out against Carnacon, who can call upon Mayo ace Cora Staunton, tops the lot.
Joined on the St Macartan’s starting team by her sisters Joline, Maria and Paula as well as cousin Lynda, Maguire is well aware of just what lies ahead “A few of us played for the county through the years but this is the biggest game in our careers.There’s nothing more special when it’s with your sisters and club-mates. It’s a new experience for us, coming out of the Ulster championship and into an All-Ireland semi-final up at home”
The Macartans are of course managed by Ryan Mc Menamin and Ricey is relishing the prospect of welcoming the Connacht champions to Augher. “As I said to the girls, we’ve probably met the ‘royalty’ of Ladies Football over the last 20 years, Donaghmoyne and Carnacon. They’ve always been up there and have been great ambassadors for the sport as well. They’re all big names, household names. There’s Fiona McHale, Martha Carter, Amy Dowling. It’s going to be tough but that’s what you get whenever you win Ulster, you’re going to meet the best of the best. We’re going to give it a rattle.”
Last year, St Mac’s lost out to Donaghmoyne by nine points in the provincial decider but 12 months on, they turned the tables to win by two, with a powerful first half display paving the way for victory.It’s clear that St Mac’s learned the lessons of 2016, and McMenamin agrees: “We hadn’t been in a final for seven years. We had a very young team and the girls learned a lot from it. The girls at the time thought it would be a long way to get back but we made a promise that we’d try our best to get back.”
Cora Staunton has been the cornerstone of Mayo Ladies football for twenty years yet it’s playing among her own that she really savours.
“The club is special, we won our nineteenth Mayo title this year. This was our sixteenth Connacht title, club means everything to me and after a tough year with Mayo it’s great to come back and play with your close friends and players you grew up with and have been playing alongside all your life. When you’re winning sure it’s even better. We are getting older and of course every chance of silverware will be great.”
Cora is well aware too of the new Ulster champions. “Yes they beat a good Donaghmoyne team although I had been talking to Sharon Courtney at Croke Park and she did say they had been worried about the game with the Tyrone girls. Donaghmoyne were missing a few players but Macartan’s have been knocking about for a while now too, they are a good team. She admitted though her management will have some homework to do.
“Yes, we will have to do a bit of digging to find out about them. We have to head up there to Tyrone too, but we will be ready. We will celebrate winning this replay but get back on the training pitch, we can only worry about ourselves”

Throw in time on Sunday is 2pm

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