CHAMPIONS Laois and Antrim lead the way in the 2022 TG4 Teams of the Junior and Intermediate Championships.
These selections honor outstanding individual displays throughout the 2022 TG4 All-Ireland Championships in the Junior and Intermediate grades – with the winners set to receive their awards at a Croke Park function on Friday November 4.
Laois were crowned TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate champions on July 31, following victory in the Final over fellow Leinster outfit, Wexford.
There was also a provincial ‘derby’ in the Junior decider, as Ulster rivals Antrim and Fermanagh battled it out for the West County Hotel Cup.
The silverware eventually went to Antrim, following a replay on August 13 at Armagh’s Athletic Grounds.
The Teams of the Championship have now been selected by members of the LGFA’s All Star committee – with Laois claiming seven slots on the Intermediate team, while Antrim have eight players included on the Junior 15.
Laois goalkeeper Eimear Barry, winner of the ZuCar Golden Glove award, is joined on the TG4 Team of the Intermediate Championship by six team-mates, including ZuCar Golden Boot winner and top scorer across the TG4 All-Ireland Championships, Mo Nerney.
Player of the Match in the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Final, Aisling Donoher, is also selected from Laois, as are Rachel Williams, Ellen Healy, Laura-Marie Maher and Erone Fitzpatrick.
Runners-up Wexford have four included, namely Sarah Harding Kenny, team captain Róisín Murphy, Caitríona Murray and Aisling Murphy, while semi-finalists Clare have Tara Kelly, Aisling Reidy and Fidelma Marrinan named on the team.
The remaining slot goes to captain Laura Fleming, representing semi-finalists Roscommon.
On the TG4 Junior Team of the Championship, winners Antrim are represented by goalkeeper Anna McCann, Aislinn McFarland, Niamh McIntosh, Saoirse Tennyson, Sarah O’Neill, Lara Dahunsi, who was player of the match in the drawn Final, captain Cathy Carey, who was player of the match in the replay against Fermanagh, and Orlaith Prenter.
Fermanagh’s exploits in reaching the Final are rewarded by the inclusion of Sarah McCarville, Aisling O’Brien, Bláithín Bogue and Junior Championship top scorer Eimear Smyth in the Team of the Championship, while there are also slots for Carlow forwards Rachel Sawyer and Sara Doyle.
Limerick, who were also beaten semi-finalists along with Carlow, have corner back Kristine Reidy selected in the team.
Ladies Gaelic Football Association President, Mícheál Naughton, commented: “The TG4 All-Ireland Junior and Intermediate Championships produced some outstanding football this year.
“We felt that it was only right and fitting to honor the contributions of Junior and Intermediate Championship players by naming Teams of the Championship in these grades.
“We did so in 2020 and the announcement of the Teams of the Championship revives memories of memorable summer fixtures.
“Across the board, we witnessed stunning saves, spectacular points, clinically taken goals, tight defending, high fielding around the middle of the field and the very best that our sport has to offer.
“Our Junior Final at Croke Park on July 31 was a thriller, before Antrim won the replay, while Laois were pushed all the way by a gallant Wexford outfit in the Intermediate Final.
“The standard of football was superb, however, right from the very start of the All-Ireland series in both competitions, and I wish to compliment the players who ensured that many of the fixtures that were played will be talked about long into the future.
“To launch the 2022 TG4 All-Ireland Championships, we were delighted to announce a five-year extension of our partnership.
“Our new deal with TG4 will last until the conclusion of the 2027 season and I wish to put on the record my sincere thanks to TG4 Director General, Alan Esslemont, Head of Sport, Rónán Ó Coisdealbha, and the entire TG4 team for their outstanding commitment to our sport.”
Alan Esslemont, Ard-Stiúrthóir TG4, added: “Comhghairdeas le gach duine de na 30 imreoirí a ainmníodh inniu ag ócáid ‘Peil na mBan - Foirne na Bliana’.
“I am delighted that we can showcase both the Junior and Intermediate grades at this special occasion.
“These grades have often served up some of the most closely matched and skillful contests for TG4’s audiences and this was especially true this year where Wexford fought Laois every step of the way before finally losing by two points.
“In the Junior grade only a replay in the searing heat of the Athletic Grounds in Armagh separated the victorious Antrim from gallant Fermanagh.
“TG4 salutes all of the wonderful athletes on these two teams and congratulates all of the Junior and Intermediate teams for such an entertaining season.”
It has also been confirmed that the 2022 TG4 All Star banquet will be held at Dublin’s Bonnington Hotel on Saturday, November 19.
The list of 45 nominees will be revealed next week.
TG4 Junior Team of the Championship
- Anna McCann – Antrim
- Kristine Reidy – Limerick
- Aislinn McFarland – Antrim
- Niamh McIntosh – Antrim
- Sarah McCarville – Fermanagh
- Saoirse Tennyson – Antrim
- Sarah O’Neill – Antrim
- Lara Dahunsi – Antrim
- Aisling O’Brien – Fermanagh
- Cathy Carey – Antrim
- Bláithín Bogue – Fermanagh
- Rachel Sawyer – Carlow
- Sara Doyle – Carlow
- Orlaith Prenter – Antrim
- Eimear Smyth – Fermanagh
County by county breakdown: Antrim 8, Fermanagh 4, Carlow 2, Limerick 1.
TG4 Intermediate Team of the Championship
- Eimear Barry – Laois
- Sarah Harding Kenny – Wexford
- Aisling Donoher – Laois
- Tara Kelly – Clare
- Rachel Williams – Laois
- Róisín Murphy – Wexford
- Ellen Healy – Laois
- Aisling Reidy – Clare
- Laura Fleming – Roscommon
- Caitríona Murray – Wexford
- Laura-Marie Maher – Laois
- Erone Fitzpatrick – Laois
- Mo Nerney – Laois
- Aisling Murphy – Wexford
- Fidelma Marrinan – Clare
County by county breakdown: Laois 7, Wexford 4, Clare 3, Roscommon 1.