Sunday September 10th
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship Final
Croke Park, 4.00pm
Cork v Kilkenny
It’s a repeat of last year’s Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship Final as these two fierce rivals will once more battle it out for the O’Duffy Cup.
Kilkenny are the current All-Ireland Champions having put an end to Cork’s bid for three-in-a-row in Croke Park last September. The teams met earlier this year in the National League Final as the Cats continued their success with a hard-fought win over the Rebels by a single goal. Cork will be hungry for revenge as they look to re-assert their dominance which saw them win back-to-back All-Ireland titles in 2014 and 2015.
Both sides enjoyed an unbeaten run through the group stages as the pair finished top of their respective groups and avoided the Quarter-Finals stage. The Cats however did have one slip up when they drew to a tough Clare side in Ennis. However, they recovered well from this and overcame Galway and Dublin to ensure top spot in the group. Kilkenny came up against the Dubs again in the Semi-Finals stage and were put through a tough test before eventually coming out on top to advance to another All-Ireland Final.
Cork have been very impressive throughout the Championship and breezed through their group with a 100% record despite a minor scare from Offaly. Having the reward of by-passing the Quarter-Finals, the Rebels were drawn a tough test against their old rivals Galway. A late Galway comeback had the Rebels on the ropes but their experience proved invaluable as they won out by three points to advance to a fourth All-Ireland Final in a row.
There is very little between the sides as both sets of players are in tremendous form. Cork are seeking a record 27th All-Ireland title while Kilkenny are chasing their 14th.
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Championship Final
Croke Park, 2.00pm
Cork v Meath
It is a unique day for Cork as they also have a chance at silverware in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Final. They come up against a strong Meath side who are in great form after an unbeaten run through this year’s Championship.
The Royals competed in Division 1 of the National League this year and even though results went against them, the experience looks to have stood to them and may have been a big factor in their impressive Championship form. Meath are aiming to make history by capturing their first ever Intermediate title and it would also mean promotion up to senior level for 2018.
Cork finished second in their group having won four from five games with their only loss coming at the expense of their Final opponents, Meath. The Rebels lost out in a thriller in Trim by a single point which meant Meath would finish in top spot in the group.
Cork looked very impressive in the Semi-Final as they comfortably saw off an experienced Down side. In the other Semi-Final, Meath edged past their neighbours Kildare to reach the Final.
If the Final is anything like their Championship meeting back in July it should prove to be an epic encounter in Croke Park.
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship Final
Croke Park, 12noon
Dublin v Westmeath
Dublin and Westmeath will battle it out for the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Premier Junior title in Sunday’s opening game.
These sides are very familiar with each other having already met in this year’s Championship back in July. Westmeath took the spoils that day but only by the narrowest of margins which would suggest there is very little between the sides.
Both teams came through tough Semi-Final tests which should stand to both sets of players. Westmeath edged past an excellent Armagh team by a single point and the Dubs got the better of a resilient Kerry side in a very competitive tie.
The Dubs have already captured some silverware this year as they won the National League Division 3 title in April. Manager Shane Plowman will hope his side can add to their year’s collection and re-claim their first All-Ireland Premier Junior title since 2006. It will be Westmeath’s first time lining out in Croke Park as they aim to win their first ever Premier Junior title.
Sunday, September 10th 2017