GALWAY CAMOGIE (Preview): GALWAY vs CORK (Saturday, 2pm Nenagh) 


Galway’s minor camogie team go in search of back-to-back All-Ireland titles in a repeat of their meeting in March when the Rebelettes finished top of their group before beating Clare 1-11 to 0-9 in the semi-final. 

Galway did suffer two group defeats but comprehensive victories against Wexford and Dublin saw them qualify on scoring difference.  And while stretched on occasions, Galway didn’t waste their reprieve against Tipperary as Mairead Dillon scored an incredible four goals in their 4-9 to 1-10 win.

Galway were without their Sarsfields and Athenry contingents during the group stages and made four changes from the original Cork game for that semi-final.  Kate Moran, Erica Leslie and Kate Screene lined out in defence with Siobhan McGrath in attack.

Interestingly, McGrath was held scoreless against the Premier County but she was still instrumental.  And Niamh Niland and Chloe Reilly, who scored two goals in each of the last two under 16 deciders, are capable of running up points.

Niamh Horan and Tegan Canning are a settled midfield unit and will have to deal with Saoirse McCarthy who is a key player in Cork’s plans.  Leah Burke and Alannah Kelly take the central defensive positions with Galway senior Sarah Healy between the sticks.

Fiona Keating, Cliodhna Healy, Moira Barrett and Aoife Hurley were Cork’s prominent scorers against Clare; Laura Hayes is creative from centre back and Sarah Ahern saved a penalty in the semi-final.  They will be confident despite their previous loss to Wexford when qualification was already secured.

For manager Lorraine Larkin, it’s her seventh consecutive year leading a Galway team to an All-Ireland Final.  Her first victory was against Cork’s under 16s in 2015 before under 18s beat Clare last year.  Both were played in Nenagh but Cork are also chasing a turn in fortunes as they participate in their third final.

Their two losses in 2013 and 2014 came after replays.  However, if Galway catch fire, they will take some stopping.  Galway were dominant at under 16 two years ago and they have a good record in finals against teams who’ve beaten them already.  And this group are comfortable with big occasions.