The All-Ireland Camogie championship gets under way this weekend with 10 teams chasing the dream of lifting the O’Duffy Cup in Croke Park in September. Saturday begins round one of the championship, in group 1 Limerick host Offaly, Galway play Cork in O’Connor Park Tullamore while in group two Dublin entertain Kilkenny in Parnell Park Dublin. Provincial champions Galway, Kilkenny and Cork all start their campaigns for All-Ireland success and will be hoping to add to the silverware they have collected so far this year.
Limerick vs Offaly
Newly promoted Limerick host Leinster finalists Offaly in one of the three games being played this weekend. Following Offaly’s four point defeat in the Leinster final Barry Whelehans women will be hoping to be in contention for silverware by the end of the summer once again. Limerick on the other hand have been developing for many years with a number of u16 and minor All-Ireland titles along with the 2014 intermediate title. The last time these sides met was in the league campaign where Limerick registered a two point victory over the faithful girls in April. This game is all to play for being too tight to call as both sides also boast young talented players that will add tenacity to what is expected to be a tight encounter.
Kilkenny vs Dublin
In this all-Leinster clash Kilkenny will be hoping to kick start their bid for All-Ireland glory after being defeated in the last two All-Irelands to Galway (2013) and Cork (2014) with winning ways. Under new management for the 2015 campaign, Kilkenny are already Leinster final champions after a 2-11 to 1-9 win over Offaly and will have their sights set on righting the wrongs of the past two Septembers. Their opponents Dublin ran a poor league campaign and were defeated by Offaly in the Leinster quarter-final by ten points. The last time these side met was in the league campaign when Kilkenny came out as easy winners with a seven point victory with Denise Gaul hitting 0-9 to her name. Previous rendezvous would assume a Kilkenny win.
Cork vs Galway
The main event of the weekend will be a replay of the 2015 league final where Galway overcame Cork by three points in May. 2014 All-Ireland champions and 2015 league finalists Cork will be seeking revenge for the league defeat and with a number of retirements on both teams a lot of new faces will be making their mark this weekend. In the first half of that league final Galway scored 2-10 from play and this is one element Cork will have to correct before this weekend’s game. However in the second half of that game Cork did hit 0-11 to narrow the win to just three points and they will have no fear of the tribeswomen this time round. Like Limerick and Offaly this game is also too tight to call, but giving Corks comeback in the last game, I tip Cork for the win.