Kinnegad will be a familiar venue for some of the Brídíní Oga squad

By John Curly McIlwaine

Coralstown, Kinnegad has been announced as the venue for the AIB All-Ireland Junior club championship final on Saturday January 7th. Antrim and Ulster champions Brídíní Óga Glenravel will play Knockananna from Wicklow with a 2pm throw-in.

It isn’t the first time the Glenravel girls have played at the Westmeath venue. Six years ago they played a Féile na nGael regional blitz there and were the outright winners of the Máirín McAleenan Shield.

Máirín, of course, is aunt to the three McAleenan sisters in the Brídíní Óga panel – Caoimhe, Úna and free-taker Eimhear. Mairín was the first Ulster player to win a full All-star and was also a prolific free-taker for both Liatroim Fontenoys and Down.

Máirín McAleenan presents the McAleenan Shield to Bridini Oga captain Niamh Donnelly at Kinnedgad back in 2016

The Ulster and All-Ireland Junior club championships were only introduced in 2003 to cater for all counties outside senior. The Intermediate club competition that Clonduff won last weekend was not introduced until 2010.

In 2004 and 2005 Liatroim Fontenoys won back-to-back Ulster and All-Ireland junior titles with Máirín winning Player of the Match in both All-Ireland finals. She  scored eight points in the first final against Four Roads (Roscommon) and then three goals and two points the second year when they beat Kilnamona from Clare.

Pictured are the Brídíní Óga Féile winning team of six years ago. Eight of the current panel are in this picture, while Maria McKenna missed the competition through illness.

Interestingly this panel of players had also won the Antrim football title that same year, just as the Glenravel team has done this season

The Bridini Oga sides who won the Feile in Kinnegad and won the Antrim football title in Creggan back in 2016

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