It is a make or break weekend in the Gala All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship with several teams looking to join Cork in the semi final draw.
This weekend will give All-Ireland champions Wexford another opportunity to take a step closer to retaining their title, something which looked beyond their reach earlier in the season. After a poor performance in the National League, the Model County were prepared to put all their efforts into the defence of the O’Duffy Cup.
However after two games and two defeats Wexford were staring at an early exit from this year’s competition. Wexford manager Stellah Sinnott knew this was not the team who had defeated Cork in Croke Park last September.
“”We were extremely disappointed about how the first couple of games went. The team was well prepared but we just went out there and we looked extremely flat. From number one to number fifteen and even the subs we brought on just looked like we didn’t know what we were at, we just looked flat overall. We had a few meetings about it after the loss to Galway to try and figure it out,”” Sinnott said.
This left them facing a resurgent Kilkenny who had already won the National League in a must win game and their class showed in the end. “”Coming out to play Kilkenny we knew we were in a dog fight and our backs were against the wall, all we could was come out fighting and hope to get the win. That victory against Kilkenny felt like a semi final, we had to win just to get another game at defending our All-Ireland.””
The change in form is something which Sinnott attributes, in part, to her forwards. “”Our inside forward line in particular has been fantastic in the last few games, especially Katrina Parrock who has come on a lot this year though she is still young. +na Leacy, Katrina and Ursula Jacob have been thriving in the past few games from good ball from midfield so hopefully that can continue at the weekend.””
This weekend Wexford take on Tipperary in Semple Stadium and Sinnott knows that every game is huge from here on in. “”There are four teams going for three slots. Cork are in the semi final so, ourselves, Tipperary, Galway and Kilkenny and looking to fill the other three places in the semi finals. While everybody wants to avoid a playoff, it’s looking like that there is going to be one. Something like this is only good for camogie. If there has to be a playoff then we must be sure we have two more wins under our belt and we go into it full of confidence,”” Sinnott said ahead of the game.
In the other games Dublin will need a win when they travel to Galway if they are to have any hope of making the semi finals. The Tribeswomen on the other know a win for them would secure a place in the last four. Cork, who are already qualified, will travel to take on League Champions Kilkenny. The hosts will need to take all two points from the game if they are to stay in contention for a semi final spot.
Saturday 26th July
Tipperary v Wexford – Semple Stadium, Thurles – 2:00pm
Galway v Dublin – Killimor, Galway – 2:30pm
Sunday 27th July
Kilkenny v Cork – Tom Ryall Park, Kilmanagh – 3:30pm
Gala All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Table