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Gala All-Ireland Senior and Junior Camogie Finals

Galway are aiming to upset the odds this weekend and win only their second All-Ireland Camogie title as they take on Cork in Croke Park on Sunday afternoon Gala All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final. 


Despite their tag as underdogs for the clash with Cork, Galway have had an impressive season so far.  The management team of Liam Donoghue, Anne Broderick and Damien Coleman in its first year in charge led the team to the National League Final in April.  However on this occasion they were denied by Kilkenny.  The Tribeswomen are competing in their first All-Ireland decider in ten years and it has been twelve years since they won their one and only O’Duffy Cup.


Bouncing back from this disappointment Galway roared through the round robin stage of the Championship.  They won four of their six matches only losing to Kilkenny and drawing with Tipperary when semi final qualification was already secured.  One of their most outstanding performances was a win over Cork and they remain the only side to have beaten Cork in the Gala Championship this year.


This year the outstanding performer on the Galway side has been 18-year-old Jessica Gill from Athenry.  While Gill is top scorer in this year’s Championship with 6-40 her most important score was the injury time goal against reigning champions Wexford in the semi final, which secured Galway’s Croke Park appearance.


The teenager and her side are having a great season but she is full of respect for Sunday’s opponents.  “”Cork are an absolutely amazing team, they have such depth to their game, they can do so much. We know what we are going into against them. We already beat them this year by a goal but when it comes to an All-Ireland, it’s very different,”” Gill said.


Even though Gill recognises how tough it will be she believes her side have been in big games this year and know how to handle it.  “”If we are to win an All-Ireland it will all be down to the team’s fitness, strength and work ethic, that’s what gets us through tough games and hopefully it will work again on Sunday.””


This season has seen a huge turnaround for Galway Camogie.  Last season, while they made the last four of the Championship, they were easily beaten by eventual winners Wexford losing by ten points.  This eventually led to the resignation of Mike Kelly with Broderick, Donoghue and Coleman taking over the reigns,.


Donoghue knows what it is like to lose a final to Cork as he played in goals for Galway in the All-Ireland Hurling Final in 2005.  However Broderick has happier memories as she was part of the famous 1996 camogie side who defeated Cork to win that solitary All-Ireland and she will hope for a similar result on Sunday.


On Leeside they have revenge on their mind following their dethroning as Camogie kingpins last September by Wexford.  Cork made their intentions clear during the Gala Championship round robin stage as they won five of their six games, losing only to their final opponents.  An easy win over Tipperary in the semi final sees them back in Croke Park for a seventh consecutive year.


This season has also seen a change in management for the Rebels as Denise Cronin has taken the helm along with a new backroom team and panel of selectors.  This freshness reinvigorated the camp following last year’s final disappointment and has seen the team continue their run of All-Ireland final appearances.


Cork’s leader on Sunday is Rockban’s Catriona Foley and she is hoping her side will use the memory of last year’s defeat to their advantage.  “”While we’re not thinking too much about last year’s loss and not getting the three in a row, I think the pain from it can motivate us towards a win this year. It would be an amazing response to last year and I think the girls deserve it too,”” Foley said.


The UCC student has no nerves ahead of Sunday and believes this could help her side.  “”I’ve been here, in this position, for the past four or five years so I don’t think I’m too nervous at all. I’m just ready to get involved and hopefully do the business on the day. I can guarantee that on match day we’ll all be a bit nervous but it’s how you handle it.  We have been here before and hopefully we can handle it better than Galway but we will see on Sunday,”” Foley added.


The Rebels will be the favourites for this clash on Sunday down to their unrivalled experience in Croke Park but following Galway’s impressive season and victory over Wexford in the semi final it promises to be a very tight encounter.


The Junior decider will see last year’s beaten finalists Clare take on Offaly.  The Faithful County are making their first appearance in a Camogie All-Ireland final since 2001 and are under the stewardship of former Offaly legend Joachim Kelly.  Kelly’s daughter, Aoife, will line with Offaly and the double All-Ireland and double All-Star winner hopes his side can outwit an experienced Clare team.  “”They have contested the last two finals but hopefully the girls can step up to the mark on Sunday and match them in every position,”” Kelly said.


For Clare they will be hoping to get past last year’s heartbreak.  Leading with only minutes left on the clock an injury time goal by Derry meant two final defeats in a row for the Banner.  Captain Deirdre Murphy is confident they can overcome their All-Ireland jinx.  “”The last two years have hurt us but hopefully come Sunday those experiences will make us stronger and motivate us to win a final,”” Murphy said.



Sunday 14th September, 2008 – Croke Park

Gala Junior All Ireland Championship Final

Clare v Offaly – 12:00pm                                        Ref: Una Kearney, Armagh    *Live on TG4*


Gala Senior All Ireland Championship Final

Cork v Galway – 4;00pm                                        Ref: +amonn Browne, Tipperary  *Live on RT+*


Teams – Gala All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final

Cork Senior Panel:

Aoife Murray                 Cloughduv
Lynda O Connell           St Finbarrs
Cathriona Foley             Rockban (Captain)
Joanne O Callaghan      Cloughduv
Gemma O Connor         St Finbarrs
Mary O Connor              Killeagh
Sara Hayes                   Courcey Rovers
Orla Cotter                    St Catherines
Briege Corkery             Cloughduv
Amanda O Regan          Douglas
Una O Donoghue          Cloughduv
Eimear O Sullivan          Ballinhassig
Sile Burns                     Rockban
Rachel Moloney            Courcey Rovers
Elaine O’ Riordan          Milford
Eimear White                Barryroe
Jenny Duffy                   St Finbarrs
Rosarie Holland            Barryroe
Rena Buckley               Inniscarra
Linda Dorgan                Grenagh
Emer O’ Farrell              Sarsfields
Julia White                    Douglas
Marion Murphy              Kilbrittan/Timoleague
Denise Cronin               Ballincollig
Lucy Hawkes                Valley Rovers
Michelle Browne           Mallow
Margaret O’Herlihy         Eire Og
Regina Curtin                Milford

Galway Senior Panel:

1. Susan Earner                  Eyrecourt

2. Sandra Tannion               St. Thomas’s

3. Ailbhe Kelly                    Davitts

4. Therese Manton              Mullagh

5. Ann-Marie Hayes             Killimor

6. Sinead Cahalan               Mullagh (Captain)

7. Niamh Kilkenny               Pearses

8. Aine Hillary                      Pearses

9. Sarah Noone                   Ahascragh

10. Molly Dunne                  Eyrecourt

11. Therese Maher              Athenry

12. Veronica Curtin              Kinvara

13. Orla Kilkenny                 Pearses

14. Jessica Gill                   Athenry

15. Brenda Kerins               Ardrahan

16. Susan Keane                 Killimor

17. Deirdre Burke                St. Thomas’s

18. Lourda Kavanagh           Davitts

19. Catriona Cormican          Cappatagle

20. Caroline Kelly                Davitts

21. Lorraine Ryan                Killimordaly

22. Clodagh Glynn               Kiltormer

23. Lizzie Flynn                   Davitts

24. Sarah Dervan                 Mullagh

25. Paula Kenny                  Eyrecourt


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