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 Fionnuala Carr looks ahead to this week’s crunch third level fixtures

Championship fever takes hold in Third Level Camogie this week with the beginning of the Ashbourne and Purcell Championship fixtures.  Defending champions WIT play host to NUIG at 1.00pm while 2011 beaten finalists UCC welcome UCD to the Mardyke for a 7.30pm throw in.  In the Purcell Cup Athlone IT take on NUI Maynooth.

Home advantage could have a big impact on the outcome of both Ashbourne fixtures this week.  UCC are very much a new team this year under the management of Shirley Maloney.  Despite losing nine of their starting panel from last year they still have plenty of talent in their ranks led by Cork senior player and UCC Captain Denise Cronin and ably assisted by Joanne Casey and Pamela and Katrina Mackey.  Kilkenny defender Nicola Butler and Kildare forward Cliodhna McSweeney both featured in last year’s Ashbourne final and will be hoping to leave their mark on this year’s competition.  Both UCD and UCC will be disappointed with their respective league campaigns but will have used those games to test their squads and will be hoping that they can hit the ground running in the Championship.  UCD can rely on top class senior inter-county players such as Sandra Tannian from Galway and former Kilkenny captain Leann Fennelly.  As always this promises to be a tough physical match but if UCC can settle quickest and get a few scores on the board then they will be very hard to beat on home soil.

WIT are no strangers to Ashbourne Cup’s having won the last three in a row.  Under the stewardship of Helena Jacob and with players such as Katrina Parrock, Denise Gaule and the return of Katie Power after a long injury layoff they will be favourites to land this year’s title as well.  NUIG enter this year’s competition as an unknown quantity under the management of Seamus Hennessy, Kevin O’Grady and Richard McNicolas.  Offaly senior star Michaela Morkan is the lynchpin of their defence and GAA officer Michael O’Connor is confident of an upset with the mix of new fresher talent and the experience of Morkan, Niamh McGrath, Maureen Heneghan and goalkeeper Roisin Connaughton.  WIT are a very physical team and NUIG will need to be ready for a battle if they are going to take something out of this match.

Prediction:  Home advantage should see a win for both WIT and UCC.



Venue:  WIT

Date and Time:  Wednesday 25th at 7.30pm

Referee: TBC




Venue: Mardyke Arena

Time:  Wednesday 25th at 7.30pm

Referee: TBC


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