It is semi-finals weekend in the National Camogie League Division One with Galway taking on Kilkenny and Cork facing Wexford in a double-header at Tullamore this Saturday afternoon.
Galway, defeated by Kilkenny in last year’s All-Ireland semi-finals will have a point to prove against their old rivals and will be hoping to put one over on the Cats and reach their first League final since 2008. Co-incidentally, the Cats defeated them on the ’08 decider. Galway’s defence will need to stand firm against an attacking unit that has amassed eight goals in two encounters and in which Aoife Neary, Deirdre Delaney and Denise Gaule have been outstanding. Manager Ann Downey will be looking to Vodafone Camogie Player of the Year Anne Dalton to pull the strings at midfield and hoping her defence will hold firm against the forward trio of Veronica Curtin, Emma Kilkelly and young starlet Niamh McGrath. Buoyed by good early season form and with some old scores to settle the odds favour Galway.
Meanwhile, All-Ireland champions Cork will have to dust off the cobwebs after last week’s Munster semi-final defeat to Tipperary and face an energised Wexford side who are defending their league title. Stripped of the services of long serving members Una O’Donoghue, Emer Dillion and Emer O’Farrell as well as Briege Corkery who has gone travelling; manager Denise Cronin faces a selection headache ahead of Saturday’s encounter. All-Star attacker Gemma O’Connor is also unavailable for selection leaving a vacancy at number eleven but it is expected that Mary O’Connor will return to her centre back berth while Orla Cotter will return to midfield action. Wexford, under their first season with former minor hurler JJ Doyle have enjoyed a fantastic league campaign to date hitting a total of 48 points in three games. Una Leacy, Ursula Jacob, Aine Codd and WIT Ashbourne winner Katrina Parrock have been the chief scorers and if Cork are to progress on Saturday they will need to keep this quartet under wraps.
Galway v Kilkenny, O’Connor Park, Tullamore, 1.30pm,
Cork v Wexford, O’Connor Park, Tullamore, 3.15pm