SATURDAY, JULY 29TH
NANCY MURRAY CUP FINAL
Mayo v Wicklow, Birr, 4pm
Referee: Shane Foley (Carlow)
Live on Camogie Association YouTube
Wicklow are on a mission to go one step further than last year, when they fell short in the All-Ireland junior A final by an agonising point to Tyrone as a result of a goal in the dying embers of the game.
They will have fierce rivals for the trophy named after a former president of the Camogie Association however, as Mayo had in turn defeated Wicklow’s subsequent conquerors when going all the way in their first year back competing at adult level in 2021.
And they repeated that trick in the semi-final, turning around the result of the Division 4 Very League decider with the Red Hands, who were shorn of the talents of four of their scorers on that occasion. Nonetheless, they had 11 points to spare at the final whistle.
Ava Lambert is an influential operator for Mayo. She and Meabh Delaney scored 2-5 between them against Tyrone, with Lilian Keane registering a third goal.
Wicklow had an extra game to navigate, edging out Offaly in a pulsating encounter in the competition’s lone quarter-final by 2-14 to 2-13. It was far less nerve-racking in the semi-final when they accounted for Louth with plenty to spare.
Daisie Summer Cullen Dunne and Nicole Curran both helped themselves to a brace of goals, while Poppy Rose Cullen Dunne also raised a green flag. In all Wicklow had seven scorers, Katie Tyrrell lofting four points among them, while the defence proved admirably resilient in the 5-11 to 0-6 triumph.
ALL-IRELAND U16A FINAL
Cork v Galway, UPMC Nowlan Park, 4.30pm
Referee: Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny)
The Rebels have become a real powerhouse in the underage scene as they are now pursuing a fourth successive triumph at this grade. Last year’s success was a 16th, putting them one clear of Galway at the head of the roll of honour. The county’s run started with defeat of the Maroons in 2019 (the 2020 competition having been lost to Covid) and that in turn prevented Galway completing a record-breaking five-in-a-row.
When these teams met in the group stages, Cork were commanding victors at Duggan Park, by 2-18 to 0-11. The hosts actually led at half-time but a scoring blitz after the restart left them rattled. Ally Mulkerrins had two goals in four minutes while Rachel Murphy and Maebh O’Brien split the posts with regularity. Cara O’Brien was Galway’s top scorer with nine points.
It was a first reverse for Galway and they bounced back with a one-point win over Kilkenny, despite conceding three goals, to book their place in the semi-finals. Cork had already been assured of progression when they fell to an eight-point defeat to Tipperary in the final round.
Galway, in turn, blew Tipp out of the water in the semi-final at Mallow, Mary Brigid Cosgrove scoring two goals and Emma Barrett and Katie Flaherty also raising green flags in the 15-point success. It was a cruise too for Cork over Wexford, leaving us with a mouth-watering clash for ultimate glory.
ALL-IRELAND U16A SHIELD FINAL
Antrim v Clare, UPMC Nowlan Park, 2.30pm
Referee: Ray Kelly (Kildare)
This second tier of U16 camogie has thrown up an interesting final pairing. Antrim and Clare were the top two teams from the round-robin phase, albeit that Clare finished on the same number of points as Dublin but had a far superior score difference. That actually had no impact in terms of the semi-final pairings of course, as second and third were slated together anyhow.
Antrim beat all five teams in the group but apart from against Dublin, had to work hard to get the better of them all. Clare got to within four points of the Ulster girls at NGDC Abbottstown but that came after a loss to Laois so they needed the subsequent victories over Offaly and Waterford to advance.
They made surprisingly short work of Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final, given that there had been only four points separating the sides when the competition got under way on May 7. It was far more testing for Antrim against Offaly but they had five points to spare to set-up what is likely to be a thrilling decider.
ALL-IRELAND U16B CUP FINAL
Derry v Kildare, Inniskeen Grattans, 1pm
Referee: Gavin Donegan (Dublin)
There were two groups of five in the U16B grade, with the top two in each progressing to the Cup series. Kildare and Derry secured 100 per cent records through the round-robin stages with some truly remarkable scoring feats.
The Lilies scored 23-57 on the way to recording a score difference of +96 while Derry kept umpires, scoreboard operators and reporters even busier, racking up 23-83 on the way to a positive of +130.
In that context, it did not come as a surprise that they both cleared their penultimate hurdles, Derry proving too strong for Roscommon and Kildare having too much firepower for Down.
On all the evidence, the defences of each team, which may have not been tested to date, are in for a sterner examination of their credentials. It should be entertaining viewing.
ALL-IRELAND U16B SHIELD FINAL
Carlow v Westmeath, Birr, 2pm
Referee: Colm Ó Mocháin (Cork)
Goals were the key as Carlow saw off Armagh by just a point at the end of a dramatic game, 3-5 to 1-10 while it was much easier for Westmeath against Kerry in the other semi-final.
Interestingly, Carlow only beat Kerry by two points in the last series of round-robin games just a week before though Carlow would already have been assured of progression and had performed well against the likes of Roscommon, losing by only two points when a win would have seen them make the Cup semi-final instead of the Rossies.
It was a similar story for Westmeath, who were just two points shy of Down in their group outing. Once again, victory there would have propelled them to the knockout stages of the Cup at the expense of the Mourne girls.
It wasn’t to be for either despite monumental efforts but the upshot of that series of games is that Carlow and Westmeath are now an hour away from All-Ireland glory.