Cork and Kilkenny will play in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final this Sunday in Croke Park with the winner going away with the O’Duffy Cup.
Last year Kilkenny reached the final stage of the competition where they met Galway and were runners up on the day. This year they return after beating Galway in the semi-final stages 4-12 to 3-7. It was a re-match of last year’s All-Ireland Final and while Galway put up a challenge to Kilkenny it was not enough and the Cats booked their place in the final.
Cork meanwhile overcame Wexford in their semi-final pairing. The first game was a draw at 1-9 apiece. The game went to a replay and Cork came out the eventual winners. They led by a point at the interval and again it was anyone’s game, however, Cork pushed on in the second half and came away with the spoils on a score-line of 1-15 to 0-8.
This year Kilkenny go in search of their first title in 20 years while Cork are looking to win the final for the first time since their last success over none other than Kilkenny in 2009. Cork have won four All-Irelands in the past ten years while this will be Kilkenny’s third time in the final in the same space of time.
Kilkenny have had an extra week to prepare for the game, however, Cork have had that second game against Wexford where they worked out why they couldn’t push on the first time out against the Slaneysiders. An extra game could have helped Cork while you can also say that an extra week of preparation may have worked to Kilkenny’s advantage; we’ll find out on Sunday.
Last time out against Galway, Kilkenny’s Ann Dalton played a stormer at midfield and scored 1-3 in the process. Denise Gaule partnered her well in the centre of the field. Kilkenny’s forwards have been very impressive this year. Aisling Dunphy, Shelly Farrell and Katie Power will have an impact on Sunday.
Cork meanwhile are also not short of talent. Orla Cotter scored 0-8 in the replay against Wexford and Katriona Mackey went away with 1-3. Ashling Thompson, Anna Geary and stalwart Briege Corkery will be important for Cork.
Kilkenny are unbeaten in the All-Ireland series this year having beaten Offaly, Clare, Tipperary, Derry and Galway. Cork were only beaten by Wexford in the group stages then overcame them in the semi-final replay. Kilkenny will have the momentum of being unbeaten this year and will have last year’s All-Ireland loss as motivation to win come Sunday. Cork side Milford are current All-Ireland club champions and have several players, including captain Anna Geary, on Sunday’s panel.
One thing for sure is that it will be a close affair on Sunday. Throw in is at 4.00pm at Croke Park.
The All-Ireland Intermediate and Premier Junior Finals also take place at headquarters on Sunday. Kilkenny will meet Limerick in the Intermediate final at 2.00pm while Down and Laois will get proceedings underway at 12.00pm in the Premier Junior final.
Amy Forde, Pundit Arena.