THE Glenfin ladies are chasing an historic first ever Ulster Senior Ladies title today (Saturday) when they take on Donaghmoyne (Monaghan) in Killyclogher at 3pm.
Francie Martin’s team have had a brilliant season so far, with a county senior title, and the Donegal and All-Ireland Gaeltacht crowns already collected.
However, they are not done yet and are still chasing another piece of silverware this Saturday,
Standing in their way is the revered Donaghmoyne club from Monaghan, who are playing in their 15th consecutive Ulster Final.
Donaghmoyne defeated Glenfin comfortably in their only previous final back in 2011, but Karen Guthrie says that was a long time ago, and she’s hoping that they can get over the line this time.
“We contested the final back in 2011, but we were very young at the time,” said the Donegal Ladies captain.
“That was seven years ago, and there is a crop of us that were relatively young then in our twenties, but now we’re in our thirties.
“Some of the younger girls in the team now like Katie Long and Colleen McGrath were only just coming to the end of Primary School then.
“We’re all looking forward to the final, and Francie is a big believer in what is for you, won’t pass you.
“We’re not going to put too much pressure on our young girls. It’s just another game of football that we’re looking to win.”
Glenfin defeated Moville in a cracking Donegal final, and they have continued their good form in Ulster.
They eased past Lurgan in the provincial quarter-final, but had to dig deep to see off Bredagh in the Ulster semi-final.
That game went to extra-time and leaves them battle-hardened ahead of this weekend’s clash.
“We’re possibly fortunate that we got our two games at home. We were supposed to play Bredagh away, but they wanted the game changed to allow players to come home, so we accommodated them with that.
“The weather was atrocious that day and we found ourselves behind at half-time and we were a bit shook by that.
“You know you look at Down football and it wouldn’t be that strong, but it just shows that anyone can put it up to you on the right day.
“We were very lucky to take the game to extra-time that day, and we got our equaliser after their goalkeeper stalled on a kick-out and we got a free.
“But our young girls really stood up in extra-time, and I think that performance showed the belief that Francie has instilled in us.”
The excitement has been building steadily for Glenfin over the last three weeks, and with their men’s team also going well, the Pairc Tabhoige club are certainly on the crest of a wave at the moment, and they want to make the most of it.
Guthrie said: “Everyone is in really good form. We got a solid week of training last week when Francie upped it, and then it has been much more chilled this week.
“The boys are doing brilliant as well, and to have two teams out training in November is just fantastic for a small rural club like Glenfin.”
Donaghmoyne are backboned by the Courtney sisters – Cora and Sharon – and they are a formidable outfit.
They are going in search of their 11th Ulster title, but certainly won’t be lacking in motivation after losing to St MacCartan’s from Tyrone last year.
“MacCartan’s earned the title last year, but I’m sure that made Donaghmoyne very hungry this year, and they were gunning for them in the semi-final.
“Donaghmoyne have dominated Ulster football and apart from the years that Termon beat them, they have been so hard to stop. I think they have seven titles in the last ten years.
“They have a serious pick and a lot of experience with the Courtneys and Linda Martin in goals.
“In 2011, they were much too strong for us, and we were young and inexperienced.
“But we feel we have got better since then, and we are ready to compete with them this time.”
Glenfin go into the final as underdogs, but that doesn’t bother Guthrie too much.
“It’s nice to be going in under the radar a bit, and everyone is talking about the other team.
“But we’re not too bothered about any sort of tags. We don’t want to get anyone worked up about it. We have a fantastic team and we will just go out and do our best.”
After getting married last month, Guthrie will finally set off on her honeymoon next week, but she’s hoping to have another medal added to her collection before she goes.