by Cian Nelson
Cork and Kilkenny, will once more contest the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final on Sunday September 9th in what has now become a rivalry for the ages.
These sides are now intimately familiar with one another having met in the past two All-Ireland Finals – sharing the spoils with a title apiece. Cork were triumphant last September as super sub Julia White struck the winning point as the game crept into injury-time as the Rebels claimed a record 27th All-Ireland title by wrestling the O’Duffy Cup back from the Cats.
In 2018 the sides have already renewed their rivalry on the national stage having met in April’s National League Division 1 Final in Nowlan Park. Once more only a single point separated the sides, this time with the Cats claiming a third League title in-a-row.
There is no denying these two teams are here on merit having both gone unbeaten in this year’s Championship with 100% records to date and having fought off tough Semi-Final opposition.
Cork were too strong for Tipperary in the Semi-Finals although they were made to work for their win as it wasn’t until the closing 20 minutes of the match that they pulled away from the Premier County.
Kilkenny meanwhile were really made to fight for their Final place as Galway pushed them right to the end. Indeed, the Tribeswomen led midway through the second half until Kilkenny struck with a vital Katie Power goal that changed the match in the Cats’ favour. This goal proved crucial as they maintained the lead in the closing 15 minutes to win by a three-point margin.
Eleven teams started out in the first round of the Senior Championship back in June – Clare, Cork, Derry, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Meath, Offaly, Tipperary and Wexford– so the 2018 Senior Finalists have come a long way. There is very little to choose between these two fine sides, and form to date suggests there won’t be a hop of a ball between them – both will be genuine contenders and will not want to give their rivals an inch.
In what will be a unique day for Cork, the Rebels also go in pursuit of All-Ireland Intermediate honours. Indeed, this is the third year in-a-row that Cork have contested both Finals in the one day, but the Intermediate side have lost on both previous occasions. A single draw was the only blemish on their record in the group stages and Cork then impressed with a hard-fought Semi-Final win over a highly-rated Galway side. They face a Down side making their first Intermediate Final appearance who finished as runners-up to Cork in the group stages.
The Mourne County will hope that their impressive Semi-Final win over a hotly tipped Tipperary side in the Semi-Final points to a sign of progression for this side if they are to reverse their earlier defeat to the Rebels when the sides met back in July. Many of this Down side tasted All-Ireland success in Croke Park in 2014 as they claimed Premier Junior glory and will hope to climb the steps of the Hogan stand once more and gain promotion to Senior level in 2019 in the process. The Rebels meanwhile will be looking to add to April’s National League Division 2 title as they aim to bridge the gap back to 2006 when they last claimed the Intermediate title.
Dublin and Kerry line out in the Premier Junior Final, with the Kingdom hoping to cap a remarkable year for the side and add to their National League Division 3 title. The Dubs put in a polished Semi-Final performance to overcome Offaly whilst Kerry impressed as they dismissed Roscommon to set up their date with destiny and their very first appearance on the hallowed turf of Croke Park. Whilst Kerry are aiming for their first ever title at this level, the Dubs are aiming for a first Premier Junior title since 2006 and to banish the demons of their 2017 Final defeat to Westmeath last September.
If the Finals of the last few years are anything to go by then we are in for a treat on September 9th!
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Championships Finals
Sunday September 9th
Cork v Kilkenny
Referee: Eamon Cassidy (Derry)
Cork v Down
Referee: John Dermody (Westmeath)
Premier Junior Final
Dublin v Kerry
Referee: Alan Doheny (Laois)
Ticket Prices & Information
Adults: €30 on matchday
€25 if purchased in advance of matchday
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Under 18: €5
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