For detailed directions to the Greencastle football pitch please visit the AA Route Planner
“Ourselves and Greencastle play the same type of game. We both like to get the ball down and play.
“It’s great to be playing this game in Listowel because it’s my home town, my old club, my old management team, and all of my family and friends will there,” said McCarthy.
Greencastle have already won the Insihowen League and have the Inishowen League Cup final – against Illies – to come.
Lagan were WFAI Junior Cup winners in 2014 thanks to an 8-1 win over Tipperary Town, but the midweek scheduling of an Intermediate Cup game in Ballina didn’t help their bid for national success this year.
Caroline Gallagher has returned to play a pivotal role having broken a toe and the Buncrana woman – a key cog in the Lagan engine room – fired an inspirational hat-trick against Glenree in the Glencar Cup final.
McGinty, who is aided by Gabriel Crawford and Gerard McGarrigle, is optimistic for the continued rolling of the Lagan conveyor.
Now with UCD Waves in the Continental Tyres Women’s National League, McCarthy is bound to receive a rapturous reception considering her exploits for club and country in recent years.
She is now excited about what is coming next, starting with an international game in her home town.
The powerful defender starred for Connell’s U19 team that reached the semi-finals of the 2014 UEFA European Championships and helped UCD finish as runners-up in the League and FAI Women’s Cup.
Greencastle were taken to penalties by Bonagee United in the semi-finals and another tight struggle awaits them at the Lakeside.
Greencastle's manager is Seán Teague, former Tyrone senior football captain.
Eimear Lafferty didn’t train on Thursday night and her ankle injury will be assessed again before a decision is made on her participation.
“The club has put in massive work and it doesn’t stop. Paddy Keys looks after the underage teams here and they’ve won the Inishowen League and Cup double and they’re in the Ulster final next weekend.
The old adversaries do battle again on Saturday in the 2015 version, which takes place at The Lakeside, home of Aileach FC (kick-off 5pm).
“We put in the work, but the players are there and they want to play for the club.
Now, they’ve designs on toppling Greencastle off their perch.
“We have been the teams to beat, ourselves and Lagan, in ladies football in the last couple of years. There’s only ever a kick of a ball between us. As luck would have it we’ve had the upper hand the last couple of times we’ve played, but we’ll need to bring our ‘A’ game again on Saturday.
“Against a team like Lagan there’s no room for error.”
Connell intends to use the games in Listowel and Tulla, County Clare as preparation for the upcoming UEFA First Phase qualifiers in Slovenia as they target a place in next summer’s finals.
Greencastle will definitely be without Republic of Ireland Under-19 ace Roma McLaughlin, who had knee surgery recently.
Lagan took the spoils in 2012, but they’ve been pipped by Greencastle in each of the last two Ulster finals.
Aoife Page and Orla Friel have also had spells on the treatment table, but are back in tow again while Gallagher, who is at college in Preston, will be available for a titanic tussle on Saturday.
“This is a huge competition to be in. With the Inishowen teams entering it gives it a lot of meaning. It’s brilliant to play teams from different Leagues and to come up against different players.”
He says: “If you think about it this way: The Colmcille National School has won four national blitz competitions in that same period, so that’s where it all starts.
Amy Boyd is out too as she continues her rehabilitation from a broken leg.
Last year, it took a dramatic late winner from Nicole Gordon to seal the deal for Greencastle, just after Lagan hit back from being 2-0 down.
Lagan have already won the Glencar Cup thanks to an 8-4 win over Glenree United and they’ve also retained the Donegal Women’s League. Their final game in the League won’t be played, but McGinty’s girls have the title secure.
McGinty says: “Pure fatigue beat us that night, but we have all those players back now.
Greencastle is one of only two clubs in Tyrone to win an All-Ireland Championship.
“We have a very good squad of players here so we’re well lined up,” says Greencastle manager Paddy Hannon.
Thursday, August 20 Republic of Ireland v Scotland, Tulla, Co Clare (11am)
St. Patrick's, Greencastle (Irish: Naomh Pádraig, An Caisleán Glas) are a Gaelic football Club from Greencastle, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The club was founded in 1932, under the name Greencastle Erin's Hope.
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Lagan Harps panel: Emma Duffy, Saorla McGarrigle, Chantelle Kelly, Michelle Kelly, Zoe Green, Aoife Page, Maggie Farrelly, Aine Deasley, Erin Coll, Ciana Brogan, Caroline Gallagher, Caoimhe Walsh, Orla Friel, Amanda Callaghan, Nakita Burke, Amber Barrett, Kaneshia McKinney, Amy Boyd.
Lagan have beaten Fanad and Illies to reach the decider, but the season hasn’t all been plain sailing for the Orchard Park girls.
“I’ve seen the good side of playing for the Under 19s by qualifying for the finals in Norway in 2014 and also the bad side when we didn’t get out of first phase qualifiers last year. So I know how important every game will be.