On Sunday next, September 13th, the inter-county camogie season culminates with a feast of finals at Croke Park.
The programme opens at 12 noon with the Liberty Insurance Premier Junior Final, featuring Laois and Roscommon. At 2pm, it’s the Liberty Insurance Intermediate Final, Kildare v Waterford, and at 4pm, the clash of reigning champions Cork and National League winners Galway in the Senior showcase.
Unlike the All-Ireland Hurling Final, there will be no scramble for tickets this week. Just 12,476 spectators attended last year’s event, despite the fact that a ticket costs only €30 (or €25 if pre-purchased), compared to €80 for the All-Ireland Hurling and Football Finals.
Regardless of the attendance, however, Sunday is a huge day for the participants, and the opportunity to play in Croke Park is lost on no-one. A win for Cork will bring them level with Dublin at the top of the Roll of Honour, with 26 titles (Cork have won 11 since Dublin’s last win in 1984), while 2013 champions Galway are seeking just their third title.
Cork and Galway met earlier this year in the IDS National League Final, and also in the group stages of the Championship, with the Tribeswomen getting the better of the Rebels in both encounters. They are unbeaten in League and Championship this year, recording wins over Cork, Limerick, Offaly and Wexford in the group stages of the latter, and narrowly defeating Wexford again in the semi-final.
Cork also had an impressive League campaign, topping their group with four wins and defeating Limerick in the semi-final before losing out to Galway in the final in Semple Stadium, 2-15 to 2-12. In Championship, they were beaten by Galway and Wexford but did enough to finish third and set up a quarter-final meeting with Tipperary, which they won in impressive fashion, 2-17 to 0-10. Their semi-final opponents were a fancied Kilkenny side, but after a slow start, the Rebels recorded a comprehensive win, 4-10 to 0-10.
Galway are likely to be favourites based on their record and form this season, but a Cork win can’t be ruled out. Will Ashling Thompson become the twenty-fifth Cork captain (Linda Mellerick was captain in both 1993 and 1997) to lift the O’Duffy Cup, or will it be Galway’s Niamh Kilkenny who does the honours?
Paths to the Final
Liberty Insurance Senior Camogie Championship
Galway 1-11 Cork 0-12
Limerick 1-10 Cork 1-14
Offaly 1-8 Galway 1-11
Cork 0-13 Offaly 0-6
Wexford 0-6 Galway 1-11
Cork 0-10 Wexford 0-13
Galway 4-16 Limerick 0-12
Cork 2-17 Tipperary 0-10
Cork 4-10 Kilkenny 0-10
Galway 1-14 Wexford 2-10
Did You Know?
- When the Camogie Association was formed in 1904, a woman’s life expectancy was 48 years. Today it’s 83!
- In the first set of Rules of Camogie, there were 12 players on a team and skirts were to be worn not less than 6 inches from the ground
- The introduction of the 15-a-side format was ratified at a Special Congress in 2000, having first been trialled in 1987
- The late Kathleen (Kay) Mills of Dublin won a record 15 All-Ireland Senior medals between 1942 and 1961
- Brothers and sisters who have won All-Ireland Senior medals include Dolly and John Quirk (Cork), Marian and Sean McCarthy (Cork), Mary and Seanie O’Leary (Cork), Aoife and Kevin Murray (Cork), Paula, Ben and Jerry O’Connor (Cork) and Eanna and Anne Ryan (Galway)
Source: ‘A Game of Our Own – Camogie’s Story’ by Mary Moran
Tickets for Sunday’s All-Ireland Finals are priced at €25 (adult pre-purchase) or €30 if bought on the day, with usual concessions. Tickets are on sale at Centra/SuperValu stories, online at tickets.ie or at outlets near Croke Park on the day. For more, see www.camogie.ie
*First published on www.sportswomen.ie