KILTOOM man Benny Morris this weekend bids to take Roscommon ladies minor footballers to All-Ireland glory, when they take on Clare in the All-Ireland 'B' Championship final at Birr next Monday (August 6).
Throw-in has been confirmed for 12noon, with the game acting as the opening cameo of a ladies football treble-bill at the Co Offaly venue.
Four South Roscommon-based players are expected to be involved in Morris' panel. Clann na nGael duo Kayleigh Dunning and Orla O'Neill are joined by Ciara O'Murchadha-Flynn (Padraig Pearses) and Suzanne Gillespie of the St Dominic's club in Knockcroghery.
Roscommon sealed a place in the All-Ireland 'B' decider with a comfortable 4-10 to 1-3 victory over Cavan in the semi-finals.
Prior to that, they sealed the John Miller Connacht Minor B Championship with a win in the final against Sligo.
They had already beaten Sligo (and Leitrim) in the opening two rounds of the Connacht Minor Championship, but lost to both Galway and Mayo in the round robin series, of which Galway and Mayo finished as the top-two and progressed to the Connacht 'A' Championship. Third-placed Roscommon and Leitrim (who finished fourth) went into the 'B' final of the provincial championship (which Roscommon subsequently won).
Though the margin of Roscommon's semi-final win over Cavan might suggest the Rossies are in pole position to clinch the All-Ireland 'B' title next Monday, manager Morris is not reading too much into comprehensive nature of that victory.
"We were very happy with the performance against Cavan. I don't think we could have any complaints with such a convincing win," he said.
"But we're in for a totally different challenge against Clare, who I expect to be very strong. They will be well-prepared and have their homework done. They won't be caught on the hop like Cavan seemed to be. They beat a strong Kildare side in the semi-finals, and ladies' football is strong in both Munster and Leinster, so that goes to show the scale of the challenge ahead," added Morris.
The Roscommon team is captained by Strokestown's Rhona McHugh, while a handful of the current panel also featured for Roscommon under-14s in an All-Ireland decider, against Clare, in 2007.
"That Roscommon team (from 2007) lost heavily to Clare, so again it shows the ability in Clare's set-up. Thankfully, most our players have All-Ireland final experience at various levels, be it under-14 or under-16s, and they will have learned a lot from that. It (All-Ireland final appearances) gives you experience of the big occasion, and the girls are hugely determined to win this match.
"They're staying very focused and doing all the right things that good teams do. They're mentally prepared and ready for the task ahead," said Benny.
The Roscommon management team is made up of Morris (St Brigid's), Dick Togher (Strokestown), Val Beirne (St Mary's, Tulsk), Mary Fleming (St Ciaran's), and Kathleen Holmes (St Barry's).