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Previews: Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Camogie Championship

Fri 05th Jul

Tara Gleeson



Dublin v Kilkenny, Croke Park, 12.30pm
Live on RTÉ One

This is a repeat of the Leinster final, in which Kilkenny had to weather a late Dublin storm before prevailing by five points. The Dubs had gone into the provincial competition with good momentum after winning the Very League Division 1B title courtesy of Grace O’Shea’s injury time goal against Wexford.

The Stripeywomen have been impressive in the group stages of the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Championship however, drawing with Waterford having led late on before losing narrowly to League champions Tipperary, who went through the group phase with a flawless record.

Former All-Ireland-winning skipper, Aoife Prendergast has taken up much of the scoring slack in the absence of Denise Gaule, who will be watching from Australia, just as she did when Dicksboro were victorious in the All-Ireland club championship. Grace Walsh and Katie Power are two veterans offering leadership while Katie Nolan, Aoife Doyle, Michelle Teehan, Ciara Phelan and newcomer Caoimhe Keher Murtagh are others to impress. Miriam Walsh will be unavailable through injury however.

Bill McCormack implemented a number of changes to Dublin’s set-up this year, most notably by moving Aisling Maher back to centre-back, where she has had a considerable impact. Kerrie Flanagan and Aoife McKearney are two others to make a successful relocation to deeper roles, with Aisling O’Neill offering an attacking threat. Gaby Couch has departed for a J1 summer however, along with her sister Jody, whose season was ended by a torn ACL.



Westmeath v Offaly, TEG Cusack Park Mullingar

Westmeath have had a mixed campaign so far, recording two wins and two losses. Following on from their win in the Division 2A league, this side won’t want to let their chances of Championship success slide. They play Offaly, who are currently in third place on the Group 1 table, just one place ahead of Westmeath. They have been consistent in the scorelines they have put up so far and will need to bring their A-game to solidify their third-place spot and guarantee themselves a quarter-final.

Clare v Wexford, Cusack Park Ennis

Both teams have had a disappointing campaign, and this game will determine which team goes into a relegation scrap. Clare’s only win so far in the Championship was their round two clash against Galway, which has given them a slight advantage against Wexford, who have failed to register a win so far in their four games. This game will be sure to go down to the wire.

Cork v Galway, Cork County Grounds

Cork and Galway currently sit first and second on the Group 1 table. This game will determine who goes straight through to the semi-finals on July 27 in FBD Semple Stadium. Both teams have registered some impressive tallies throughout the season, and will be sure to battle it out right until the final whistle is blown.

Kildare v Kilkenny, Manguard Park Hawkfield

In Group 2, a thrilling clash awaits as Kildare prepares to challenge the formidable Kilkenny, the current frontrunners. They must summon their best performance to overcome the leaders and secure a crucial victory. They have struggled in their Championship campaign so far only registering one win from five games. The Kilkenny side have excelled and a win would secure their place in the semi-finals on July 27 in FBD Semple Stadium.

Meath v Kerry, Rathmolyon GAA

The Meath versus Kerry showdown is set to captivate fans. With Meath placed third and Kerry at second on the Group 2 table, this highly-anticipated match promises intense competition as both teams strive for a vital win to secure at least a quarter final spot.

Antrim v Dublin, Loughgiel Shamrocks GAC

Antrim face a tough test against Dublin. Plagued by a string of unfortunate losses this season, will be determined to turn their fortunes around against Dublin, who have notched up two wins, two losses, and a draw against the league leaders, Kilkenny.



Cavan v Tyrone, Clane GAA, 2pm

Tyrone were Very League Division 4 winners. In contrast, Cavan didn’t win a League game but they were operating in rarefied air in Division 2A. Among the opposition in the third tier were Derry, who secured two senior championship triumphs in the past couple of months.

The Breffniwomen suffered a heavy defeat (18 points) in the first round of this competition to subsequent table toppers Laois but recovered well, winning their remaining three games and digging deep to see off Limerick at Dr Plunkett Memorial Park in Kilnaleck to cement second in Group 2, having also edged out Roscommon.

Tyrone’s fate was in their own hands last weekend, in a winner-takes-all clash with Wicklow and it was the visitors that prevailed by six points at Aughrim’s Echelon Park to advance to the last six.


Armagh v Roscommon, Clane GAA, 4pm
These teams have been involved in two competitive affairs already with Armagh taking the spoils on each occasion on the way to becoming Division 3A League champions.

They were involved in a cracker at BOX-IT Athletic Grounds in the round-robin phase, losing by eight points despite scoring 4-10. If that was a Wild West shootout, the subsequent semi-final was far cagier and though Roscommon reduced Armagh’s scoring output by five goals, they were held to nine points themselves to lose by six.

Armagh’s only blemish in the Championship series came last weekend, when Tipperary inflicted an 11-point defeat at The Ragg. Roscommon were beaten by Group 2 leaders Laois but were only just denied by Cavan and will ensure this goes down to the wire.



Galway v Waterford, Croke Park, 1.30pm
Live on RTÉ2

This is a mouth-watering encounter involving two teams with huge attacking talent and it would come as no surprise were we to be treated to a high-scoring affair.

Galway have stuttered through the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Championship since losing the Very League Division 1A final to Tipperary, after which Siobhán McGrath announced her withdrawal from the squad. New recruit, Niamh Mallon almost rescued Cathal Murray’s side with a blinding cameo off the bench in her first appearance in Maroon on that occasion and has flourished if in receipt of a good supply in the meantime.

They just got over the line against Dublin and drew with Wexford but it was the limp effort against Cork last time out, with direct qualification to the semi-final up for grabs, that was most disconcerting.

Shauna Healy is a considerable loss in defence but Róisín Black and Dervla Higgins are doughty performers, Niamh Kilkenny is back in the fold and Aoife Donohue is expected back from injury. Carrie Dolan has been providing leadership from a very young age and Mallon is as good a forward as is in the country.

Beth Carton is the standard in that regard of course, as the reigning player of the year and the De La Salle genius shot 2-8 as the Déise made sure of their quarter-final against Derry last week.

With Jerry Wallace in his first season as manager, Waterford lost to Tipperary in their opening tie and drew with Kilkenny but last year’s All-Ireland finalists remain genuine contenders, with Mairéad O’Brien offering a real goal threat from full-forward and Vikki Falconer and Abby Flynn recovered from injury. Meanwhile, Brianna O’Regan is one of the best shot stoppers in the land while skipper Lorraine Bray offers relentless energy and minor star Maggie Gostl has helped increase the depth of the squad.



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