Galway on the brink of the semi finals
This weekend Galway have the opportunity to secure their place in the semi finals of the Gala All-Ireland Camogie Championship as they take on Kilkenny. This is quite a turnaround for a side who endured a disappointing season last year.
The Tribeswomen narrowly made the semi finals last year following a win over Championship newcomers Dublin, but they were well out of their depth when they came up against a rampant Wexford who defeated them by ten points.
So far this year Galway have made the final of the National League, where they unluckily lost out to Kilkenny, while they are currently the only undefeated team in the Championship with impressive wins over Cork and Wexford under their belts.
Joint manager of the side this year is Anne Broderick and she sees something different in this year’s team. “”I can’t really put my finger on it but there is something about this team this year. There’s something there that wasn’t there before so I feel that this could be a good year for Galway camogie. Beating Wexford and Cork has given the girls a belief that they can go on and press for the big titles.””
The match against Kilkenny is a replay of the League final, something which Broderick feels hit the team hard. “”To be fair, the girls took the loss to Kilkenny in the League final quite badly. It was very close but we just fell short. I think the reason why they took it so badly is that they prepared very well for the League, we took it very professionally. At the start of the year we had dieticians and nutritionists as well as sports conditioning trainers for a while at the start to get things together so we could press on ourselves.
While a win for Galway would ensure a place in the semi final draw a loss for Kilkenny would seriously dent there hopes of a last four place and Broderick is aware of what this game means to the League winners. “”If we could get a win here it would leave Kilkenny with three losses and looking shaky. It’s going to be very tough as they will treat it as an All-Ireland final of sorts so it will be a great game.””
There are also vital games in Wexford and Cork this weekend. The Rebels host Limerick on Saturday and a win will guarantee 2006 winners Cork a place in this year’s semi final. Limerick are without a point following a tough return to senior championship action and it looks unlikely that they will get anything from this game.
Wexford will be hoping to continue their revival as they take on Dublin. The reigning champions lost their opening two games before returning to true form last weekend with a 13 point win over National League winners Kilkenny. Dublin, like Wexford, have only one win so far but they will have to put in an outstanding performance if they are to overcome Stellah Sinnott’s side on Sunday.
Saturday 19th July
Cork v Limerick – Ballinlough, Cork – 1:00pm
Sunday 20th July
Wexford v Dublin – Buffers Alley, Wexford – 1:30pm
Kilkenny v Galway – Tom Ryall Park, Kilmanangh – 3:30pm
Gala All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Table