The Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship begins tomorrow, with two games from Group 1 and two Group 3. Group 2 commences next weekend.
SATURDAY, JUNE 3RD
GLEN DIMPLEX ALL-IRELAND SENIOR CAMOGIE CHAMPIONSHIP GROUP 1
Down v Clare, Liatroim Fontenoys, 3pm
Referee: Gavin Donegan (Dublin)
Clare began the year with a stunning success over Galway but whereas the Tribeswomen picked up from there to go on and win the League, it went downhill for the only team to lower their colours this season. Clare had to draw with Dublin in the final game to be sure of avoiding relegation and though they reached the Munster final subsequently, they lost to Tipperary by 17 points.
Down secured a mid-table position in Division 1B, securing wins over Limerick and Offaly, and the incomparable Niamh Mallon shot ten points as they overcame Antrim in the Ulster final.
This may be the first game of the competition but it is must-win territory, with only two progressing from a group that also includes Galway and Cork.
Galway v Cork, Kenny Park Athenry, 5pm
Referee: Ray Kelly (Kildare)
Live on https://www.youtube.com/@OfficialCamogie/streams
This is a third big national game between the teams in a row and Galway are 2-0, having won in Páirc Uí Chaoimh to book their place in the League final, in which they then defeated the Rebels.
Cork have been consistent but have lost four national finals in a row. They then were beaten by Waterford in the first round of the Munster Championship. This represents an ideal opportunity to get back into the swing of things but Laura Hayes is a big loss with a knee injury and while Galway are still down the likes of Orlaith McGrath, while Niamh Kilkenny is among those out for the year, Siobhan McGrath is back in the fold after her own injury issues and the hosts go into this as the form side.
GLEN DIMPLEX ALL-IRELAND SENIOR CAMOGIE CHAMPIONSHIP GROUP 3
Antrim v Limerick, Dunloy, 3pm
Referee: John Dermody (Westmeath)
Antrim looked comfortable at senior level last year and might have been hoping for better than third in Division 1B of the League. Maeve Kelly remains a significant loss but Róisín McCormick is a class act and the increasing depth in the county was illustrated by their second string securing All-Ireland premier junior honours last season. They have to bounce back from losing the Ulster final to Down by six points, however.
Limerick made the All-Ireland senior quarter-final last term but failed to raise a gallop in the League, where Antrim beat them by nine points in Rathkeale’s Mick Neville Park. That was the venue at which they chiselled out a one-goal victory over Offaly to avoid falling to the third tier. They will need to leave that form behind to depart Dunloy with the points.
Offaly v Waterford, Banagher, 5pm
Referee: Justin Heffernan (Wexford)
Both counties have been travelling different trajectories in recent years, with Waterford regulars in the knockout stages of the championship, and Offaly battling to avoid the drop. That was something they failed to do in the League, where they will be playing in the third tier, Division 2A next season.
Waterford scared the life out of Cork in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final and built on that under new management by winning the Division 1B League in April. They then defeated Cork in the Munster Champoinship but were in turn, well beaten by subsequent champions Tipperary in the semi-final. They will be clear favourites to emerge with the spoils from this encounter, however.