AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Club Championship Semi-Finals
Cappataggle (Galway) v Myshall (Carlow)
Referee: Fintan McNamara (Clare)
SOMETIMES dominance can lead to staleness but there is no sign of that in Myshall. Carlow champions for the past 17 seasons, they have persistently pushed the boundaries. The two All-Ireland Junior titles in 2012 and 2013 will never be forgotten, but now they have even loftier goals.
Having moved up to the Intermediate grade, they were competitive immediately and went very close to toppling Tullaroan in last year’s Leinster Final. This year, they came out on top in another humdinger, against Shinrone, having accounted for O’Moores of Laois in the penultimate round.
Ciara Quirke is their chief scorer but they have a well-rounded unit, with the likes of Kate Nolan, Ali Ruschitzko, Marian Doyle and Niamh Quirke all playing important roles. It is perhaps no surprise that they have taken the step up well, given that many of them were involved in the Carlow team that won the All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship last September, 12 months after annexing the Junior A crown.
The Galway representatives are always dangerous though and Cappataggle have their own All-Ireland winners in Ciara Lenihan and Emma Reynolds, who were involved as the westerners claimed U16 honours last year, while Caitriona Cormican and Moira Connaughton were members of the victorious Intermediate squad in 2013.
Michelle Skehill is an inspirational captain, providing 1-5 of her side’s 1-12 in the five-point defeat of Ahascragh/Caltra in the county final. The goal arrived in the eight minute and with Rachel Byrne also in unyielding mood, the Cappa girls held on.
Eglish (Tyrone) v Gailltír (Waterford)
Donaghmore Ashbourne GAA
Referee: Owen Elliott (Antrim)
EGLISH are back in the final four, having found Eyrecourt of Galway too strong at this juncture in 2016. The Tyrone crew have always had strong Camogie traditions and reached an All-Ireland Senior Final in 1991, where they were defeated by another Galway side, Mullagh.
They retained the Ulster crown by emerging from the lion’s den in Granemore with a 13-point win over Pearse Óg (Armagh). It would have been pleasing for them to rack up 19 points because in the likes of Ciara and Leanne Donnelly, they have proven goal scorers.
The former struck for one of the best goals ever seen in Croke Park in last September’s All-Ireland Premier Junior Final against Carlow but is unerringly accurate from further out the field too, as evidenced by her nine points in the provincial decider. She is well supported by Ciara McGready and Maria Jordan.
The key for Eglish will be to negate, or at least reduce, the considerable influence Trish Jackman exerts for Gailltír. The Poc Fada legend has been displaying her wares on the national stage for a number of years for Waterford as they climbed through the ranks to Senior and Division 1 level, and was central to Gailltír ending 2014 All-Ireland champions Lismore’s reign down by the Suir, with Kate Lynch and Emer Walshe adding crucial goals.
Jackman was unstoppable in the Munster Final against Éire Óg, Nenagh (Tipperary), which Gailltír reached after dispensing with Cork representatives Blackrock. The All-Stars nominee accumulated 1-9, the goal coming from a penalty. Seven of the points came from play and it was Jackman who struck the winner right on the stroke of full-time.
This is no one-woman team though, as Áine Lyng, Sinéad Cunningham, Emma Hannon and Lynch are others vital to the cause.
*In the event of a draw at full-time in either fixture, extra-time will be played.