The 2019 intercounty season is all set to get underway inearnest this Sunday and having played out yet another tight All-Ireland Final that went right to the wire in September, Cork and Kilkenny will once more be the teams to beat in Division 1 of the 2019 Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues.
These two powerhouses have dominated both League and Championship silverware in recent seasons with the Cats setting out to defend their League crown in 2019 as they aim for an incredible four-in-a-row. The two sides met in both of last year’s key finals, with the Cats claiming the League title before the Rebels had the last laugh with All-Ireland glory in September by virtue of just a single point. Indeed there has been just a point between the sides in each of their last three meetings – all of which were silverware deciders.
There is fierce rivalry between the two sides but they cannot afford to focus solely on one another as there is a chasing pack waiting to knock them off their perch. A resurgent Tipperary were one of the stories of the summer in 2018 and will be full of confidence as they go into 2019 yet with great pressure on them with expectations now raised having made it to the All-Ireland Semi-Finals last August. Their fellow Semi-Finalists Galway are also waiting in the wings to break the Cork-Kilkenny dominance and a first League title since 2015 would lay a marker from the Westerners who have been their closest rival in recent years.
The potential challengers don’t stop there with several other sides all capable of making a breakthrough in 2019 – Dublin and Waterford in particular will look to build on promising summers in 2018 whilst Limerick will look to continue their impressive League form of recent years.
Fans are in for a treat this year with at least 6 matches to be streamed live via Littlewoods Ireland's Facebook page and YouTube channel, starting with the meeting of Tipperary v Cork this weekend!
In February Division 2 reigning champions Cork will look once more to the League to lay the foundation for another All-Ireland campaign as they look to retain both trophies in 2019. Newly promoted Kerry will look to build on their 2018 Division 3 title and establish themselves at this level. As ever Division 2 looks set to be a tight division with all teams realistically fancying their chances of pushing for silverware.
Division 3 will see a new title-holder in 2019 when it gets udnerway next month as last year’s champions Kerry have made the step up to Division 2. Roscommon in particular will fancy their chances having competed strongly at this level in recent years but all of the six sides in this division will realistically fancy their chances of challenging for silverware if they can put a run of form together.
2018 provided some memorable moments of skilful, intense, elite Camogie action and 2019 is shaping up to go even further – let the games begin!
Full fixtures for the 2019 Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues can be downloaded here