Wexford took the O’Duffy, but Cork lifted the League crown. Wexford still possess the same back room team, while it’s all change at Cork.
Wexford manager, Stellah Sinnott, is delighted to be getting back to playing again. “”While we have taken a similar approach to training as last year, we are aware of the many trips the girls have been making with the Cup throughout the county and therefore we are not making the girls from Dublin and other areas travel for all the League training.””
Stellah is fortunate to have had a lot of players in action over the last few weeks in the Ashbourne Cup and thankfully they all have a clean bill of health. Last Sunday on the UCD winning team the two Leacy sisters, Mary and Una as well as Mags D’Arcy were in action while Ursula Jacob played with WIT against her own players in the final.
There seems to be an air of confidence in Wexford and despite missing Aine Codd this weekend who is away in New York, they expect to be able to call on the rest of the panel of last year except for Michelle Ahearne who is not available. The story is different with the reigning League champions Cork. They may well be without a manager but among their selectors is Denise Cronin a former senior All-Ireland winning captain who is expected to be able to lend considerable experience to the side. Trainer to the reigning All-Ireland finalists is Cork man Jim Mc Carthy.
Despite having the opening League game at home, they would appear to be up against it as they will have to line out without four times All-Star Jennifer O’Leary who has taken a year out to travel to Australia while Anna Geary will be in Luxembourg studying while Briege Corkery is in San Francisco this year. Rena Buckley is also expected to depart these shores as well but the fact that she was around for last Sunday’s Ashbourne Cup with UCD indicates that she may well line out with her native county next Sunday.
Also going ahead on Sunday will be the clash of Galway and Tipperary, two teams who would like to finish close to the League final, but one feels that it might just be Tipperary who would shade this game. Going ahead on Saturday is the clash of Dublin and Kilkenny in Kilkenny. Dublin Manager David Kennedy will be hoping that his success as manager of UCD will rub off on the Dubs as they take on the Cats managed again this year by former twelve times All-Ireland winner Ann Downey.
With Kilkenny having won back to back Minor All-Ireland titles and a three in a row All-Ireland U16 title one begins to think that the kittens are slowly maturing into what may be a fine side in a couple of seasons. A further nine games will take place in Division, 2, 3 and 4.