By Kieran Lynch
ST ERGNAT’S Moneyglass senior ladies team are gearing up for their first-ever Ulster final this weekend, when they take on provincial kingpins Donaghmoyne.
Moneyglass’ manager Charlie O’Kane spoke to Gaelic Life ahead of the decider, and he says that this is an occasion which the club has been building towards for a number of years now.
“Not only is it the first final for Moneyglass, but it’s also the first for any Antrim team,” he said.
“It’s a great honour for Moneyglass, because they have strived to get this far, this is where they want to be, and they’re hungry for it.
“They have been working hard at underage level in Moneyglass for a number of years. They have a group of players now who have won an Ulster title at Minor. This year alone in Antrim, the Minors, the u-16s and the u-14s have won their county titles, as well as the Féile.”
Moneyglass will be full of confidence, as they are a team on the rise, and have a number of players who made up the spine of Antrim;s All-Ireland Junior winning team earlier this year; but the final will be a battle of youth versus experience, as they are set to face off with the club who have dominated the Ulster scene since 2004 inn Donaghmoyne, and they are on the hunt for their fourteenth title in 18 years.
“Donaghmoyne have won 20 Monaghan titles, 13 Ulster titles, and three All-Irelands. So, that’s the sort of success that Moneyglass are striving to get to,” said O’Kane. “You want to be playing the best, and this is a big challenge for Moneyglass; but they have set their sights as to where they want to be, which was to reach the Ulster final, which they have done, and now they’re going to play against one of the best teams in Ulster and in Ireland, over the last 10 years.”
For Moneyglass to turn Donaghmoyne over this weekend, they are going to have to look to get possession in the hands of full forward Órlaith Prenter, who is in outstanding form.
Prenter scored all 1-13 of Moneyglass’ winning tally in the semi-final against St Macartan’s, and she is the obvious scoring threat for O’Kane’s side. Whilst O’Kane was more than happy to give Prenter her due plaudits, he reminded that it’s a team game, and his side will need everyone to play their part.
“She’s unbelievable. Some of the scores she took in the last match were incredible; she’s a very talented girl,” he said of Prenter.
“She has good players around her too, who create space for her, and get the ball to her, and once she gets it, she has an eye for the posts.
“The minors are out in the Ulster final next week, and we have seven from that team on the Senior team, so it’s a developing group. We have Maria O’Neill, Sarah O’Neill and Aoife Kelly as well who are all very good players; so, it’s not all just Órlaith. Those players make the room for her, and supply her with tremendous ball.”