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*Ellie O’Gorman & Natasha Murray. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

In a first for Ladies Football in Clare, Monday night championship action begins this week with the start of the senior campaign.

Kilmihil will begin the defence of their title as county champions when they travel to Gurteen to face St Josephs Doora/Barefield. Kevin Callinan continues as manager of the West Clare outfit who denied Banner Ladies a ninth championship in succession following their glory last September.

Whether or not the Considine sisters, Eimear and Ailish will form part of Kilmihil’s lineup will have a big influence on their efforts to claim back to back titles. County dual-player Siofra Ní Chonaill will be looked to as St Josephs Doora/Barefield go in as underdogs. Cooraclare have a bye in the opening round for Group 1.

Coolmeen hosts the encounter between Cúil Gaels and West Clare Gaels as Group 2 action gets underway. In the meeting of the women from the Estuary versus their female counterparts from the coast, each side will have stressed the importance of getting a win under their belt before their remaining group clash with Banner Ladies.

Games begin in the intermediate championship with Doonbeg taking on St Josephs Miltown, their male equivalents will do battle in two weeks time. Fergus Rovers face an away trip going up against Liscannor while the final clash pits Kilmurry Ibrickane against Éire Óg.

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