Liberty Insurance Senior Camogie Final, Croke Park, 4.00pm, John Dolan
It is 20 years since Kilkenny last captured a Senior Camogie All Ireland title while 2009 was the last occasion on which Cork collected the honours. Time will tell if last year’s All Ireland final defeat will prove instrumental for Graham Dillon’s charges as they face a Cork side, high on confidence after defeating a powerful Wexford in the semi-final replay.
Kilkenny, are unbeaten this season in both League and Championship and all across the field they possess game changers. Kate McDonald at full-back and Collette Dormer at centre-back will play influential roles, in a defence which has been water-tight all season, bar the semi-final.
The concession of three goals in that game will be a cause for concern, particularly with Cork forwards Orla Cotter, Katriona Mackey and Julia White, as potent as forwards come. Cotter’s duel with McDonald will be key as will the line-up of Angela Walsh at centre forward against Dormer.
The most crucial area for both teams is midfield with the mercurial Ann Dalton and skipper Leann Fennelly facing formidable opponents in Rena Buckley and Ashling Thompson. Both sides have forward lines that are extremely fast and if they gain enough possession, scores will come. Kilkenny’s Katie Power and Denise Gaule, are influential up front while the pace of Michelle Quilty will pose questions of the Cork defence.
The teams have not met this season which adds to the intrigue of Sunday’s game. Neither will lack for motivation, hunger or desire. The question remains though whether Kilkenny will have enough to push them over the line this Sunday or will Cork’s overall experience, with players such as Gemma O’Connor and Aoife Murray, amongst the ranks, edge them to All Ireland glory.
Liberty Insurance Intermediate Camogie Final, Croke Park, 2.00pm, Ray Kelly
Limerick suffered a heart-breaking defeat to Galway in last year’s encounter. Joe Quaid’s team have bounced back though and sailed
through the round-robin stages, recording wins over Kildare, Antrim, Galway and Tipperary by an aggregate of 76 points. A fiercely fought game with Waterford in the semi-final will have set them up well for the challenge Kilkenny pose.The Limerick half-forward line of Caoimhe Costello, Niamh Mulcahy and Rebecca Delee are three key figures as is Michelle Casey at full-back and Sarah Carey at centre.
Kilkenny, will be an entirely different proposition to what Limerick will have encountered before. Like Limerick, they enjoyed an unbeaten run in the round robin stages and eased into the final with a comfortable win over Kildare. Captain Mags Fennelly, at corner forward, along with Lydia Fitzpatrick and midfield duo Megan Farrell and Aine Kinsella will be expected to have a big influence on Sunday. Kilkenny to shade it, but only just.
Liberty Insurance Premier Junior Final, Croke Park, 12noon, Liz Dempsey
Laois, are another team back in the All Ireland after suffering defeat the previous season. They clashed with Down earlier this year, winning out in a high scoring shoot-out 3-12 to 1-17. Sarah Anne Fitzgerald, captains the side and her performance in the semi-final win over Dublin, hitting a personal tally of 1-10 will have Down taking note.
Niamh Dollard, at full-forward and Louise Mahony at wing-forward will also have a big impact. Down, will look to captain Niamh Mallon, at corner forward and Sara Louise Carr to lead the side while the experience of Fionnuala Carr and Catherine McGourty is also vital. The pain of defeats in 2011 and 2012 at this level, may give the Mourne outfit that little extra edge, but it will be very tight affair with the minimum between them.