SARAH JANE WINDERS hopes Wicklow can use the hurt of losing last year’s All-Ireland junior ladies final to get them over the line today.
Fermanagh beat the Garden County 2-9 to 0-12 in last December’s decider at Parnell Park.
But Wicklow have worked their way back to the final again, where they face Antrim at Croke Park today.
Over the last two years both Louth and the Ernesiders lost junior finals, only to return the following season and secure promotion to the intermediate grade.
Wicklow captain Winders said: “Yeah, it has been a trend over the last while, but even last year going in against Fermanagh, even though they had lost the year before, people would have labelled us as the favourites so we were expected to win last year.
“If we’re expected to win this year it makes no odds when it comes down to it on the day, but hopefully we can bring the hurt and the hunger from last year into the final and hopefully it’ll help.”
Wicklow trounced Antrim at the semi-final stages of last year’s junior championship, 7-11 to 3-10.
But when the sides met earlier in this year’s competition, it was a closer affair with the Leinster county edging the result 1-17 to 1-12.
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Winders added: “When we were going to be playing them first even this year, we had watched them in other games obviously and we had noticed that it was a different team than last year.
“So we were trying to make sure we were really aware of that going into the first game because they’re a completely different set-up.
“That’s the way ladies football is.
“You can get people back and teams change completely and even over the course of a season, people can improve, positions can change, the hunger can change.
“We beat Fermanagh last year in the group stages and then they beat us in the final so it just comes down to on the day and hopefully enough of us are aware of that.
“Past results mean nothing when it comes to a match and especially for a final.”