Waterford Ladies Gaelic Football Association

Brief History & Background to Waterford LGFA

The first serious attempt to organise ladies football in County Waterford came in the summer of 1970. A number of tournaments in West Waterford/South Tipperary drew the attention of number of Ballymacarbry employees in the area and as a result Ballymacarbry Ladies Gaelic Football Club was founded on Tuesday 7th July 1970, making it one of the oldest clubs in the country. During that year in an NFA sponsored tournament, a game between Newcastle and Ballymacarbry attracted over 500 spectators to the Mill Field Ballymacarbry. The year 1970 ended with a South Tipperary/West Waterford league played on a double round basis.

In 1971 ladies football teams were also formed in Touraneena, Kilrossanty, Kill, Fenor, Stradbally and Abbeyside. During this time a county board was set up in Waterford under the chairmanship of Fr Percy Ahearn, a native of Colligan, with Margaret Foley as Secretary. On Saturday 24th July 1971 the Dungarvan Observer carried the announcement that a ladies football championship would be run off in County Waterford and it was decided that all games would be played in Leamybrien. Two weeks later the first championship match took place between Ballymacarbry and Kilrossanty. The championship was sponsored by Muintir Na Tire and played on a league basis. Ballymacarbry and Kilrossanty also contested the first championship final on the 2nd September 1971 with Ballymacarbry becoming the inaugural champions by a two-point margin. By 1972 tournament games were playing a very important part in ladies football with many games being organised between a contingent of players from Tipperary and Waterford. 1973 saw a championship comprising of Aglish, Ardmore, Ballymacarbry, Kill, Kilrossanty, Sliabh gCua and Stradbally. At that time the Waterford team was made up of mostly Ballymacarbry and Kilrossanty players but also featured players from Fenor, Kill, Stradbally and Bunmahon. After four years of competition in various counties it was decided to officially set up the Ladies Gaelic Football Association on the 18th July 1974 at Hayes hotel in Thurles.

1986 saw Waterford win their first adult intercounty titles when they claimed the Junior League and the Junior All-Ireland. Sunday 12th October was the first time ever that the Ladies Football finals were played in Croke Park and Waterford contested the Junior All-Ireland final with Wexford. On that day Marie Crotty (Waterford) became the first ever ladies footballer to score a point in Croke Park with Catriona Casey (Waterford) becoming the first ladies footballer to score a goal in Croke Park. Waterford recorded a 4-13 to 0-0 victory and Marie Crotty became the first Waterford player to win an All-Star Award.

1987 saw Ballymacarbry claim the first All-Ireland club title for a Waterford club when they defeated Hollymount of Mayo in the Senior final. Ballymacarbry dominated the Senior club scene throughout the late eighties and nineties winning 10 senior All-Ireland club titles.

Waterford won their first underage intercounty titles in 1991 in the U16 and U18 grades and won their first U14 title in 1998. 1991 also saw the first ever senior All-Ireland title for Waterford when they defeated Laois on 13th October in Croke Park, captained by Marie Crotty. The victorious panel featured players from four clubs: Ballymacarbry, Kilrossanty, Na Deise and Kill. Waterford then went on to win four more senior All-Ireland titles (1992, 1994, 1995, 1998).

Between 2002 and 2009 Waterford went through a transition period on both the club and county scene. Waterford senior ladies were relegated to the intermediate championship in 2008 but following this relegation they went on to win the Munster Intermediate title in 2009, their first intercounty title since 2002 across all grades. This was followed by a further six intermediate titles between 2010-2015. They also competed in the 2010 and 2012 Intermediate All-Ireland finals but were defeated by Donegal and Armagh. In 2015 Waterford won the Intermediate All-Ireland defeating Kildare 3-14 to 0-10. In 2016 Waterford secured promotion to Division 2 of the National League by winning the Division 3 final. Nine clubs were represented on the victorious Waterford LGFA intermediate panel of 2015 with twelve clubs having representation on the Division 3 National League winning panel thus showing the continued growth of ladies football clubs within the county. Since retaining senior status Waterford have been extremely competitive in the senior provincial and All-Ireland championship, competing in a Munster senior final in 2017.

Waterford underage teams have competed mainly in the B championships over the last number of years with victories in the U14 B All-Ireland in 2013 and in the U16 B All-Ireland in 2015 and 2017.

Waterford Ladies Gaelic Football Association