The form team at the moment is National League Champions, Kilkenny, and they will host Tipperary on Sunday in Nowlan Park. Tipperary have seen a down turn in fortunes over the past 18 months as their dominance of Camogie alongside Cork was ended by Wexford.
This year John McGrath has taken the helm of a Tipp side who are hoping that this year’s Championship will see them on the up again. “”There is great ability through the team despite the fact that we have had so many players missing due to injuries and retirements this year. Having such experienced players such as Philly Fogarty and Suzanne Kelly still here means we will always be in with a shout.
The Tipperary manager has seen a power shift in the game over the past 12 months. “”The standard has shot up this year with Galway and Kilkenny reaping the benefits of years of underage dominance, something we have struggled with here in Tipperary. So this year the Championship will be very open and if we can make the semi final then who knows. You would imagine Cork and Wexford will take two of the semi final spots so it is up to the remaining five teams to fight it out after that,”” McGrath said ahead of the game.
Tipperary are still missing star full back Mairead Luttrell who is nearing return following an ankle sprain but aside from that will have a full squad to chose from.
Newcomers to the senior Championship this year, Limerick, will travel to take on beaten National League Finalists Galway in Athenry. Limerick have lost their inspirational manager Ciaran Carey this season and will struggle against a Galway side who have improved dramatically from last year.
The final game of round one will see Dublin hosting last year’s All-Ireland runners up Cork. The Rebels will be keen to get their Championship off to a good start but will be without All-Star forward Jennifer O’Leary and Anna Geary this season. Dublin will be looking to improve again on last year, their first season back in senior Camogie, but Cork may just edge this one.
Sunday, 1st June, 2008
Galway v Limerick Kenny Park, Athnery – 2:00pm
Kilkenny v Tipperary Nowlan Park, Kilkenny – 2:00pm
Dublin v Cork Naomh Mearn¾g, Dublin – 1:00pm
Gala All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Overview
The Championship consists of seven teams this year; Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Wexford Tipperary, Galway and Kilkenny. They will all compete in a league format where each team will play each other once, with each team playing six matches. At the end of those six matches the top four teams will be put into an open draw for the semi finals. The winners of the semi finals will then meet in the Gala All-Ireland Championship Final on the 14th of September in Croke Park.