Attention on the camogie scene switches to the start of the inter-county season this weekend when the Kilkenny senior, intermediate and minor teams will be in action.
On Saturday, the minors have home advantage against Galway. The team will feature a host of last year’s panel who lost by a solitary point to Tipperary in the All-Ireland final.
Under new manager Damien Walsh of Lisdowney, who makes his inter-county managerial debut, Kilkenny will be chasing a winning start that will automatically seal a semi-final spot on the Easter weekend.
On Sunday, Kilkenny and Cork will engage in a double header at senior and intermediate level. The seniors are under the stewardship of Brendan Williams. They begin the National League minus Anne Dalton, Deirdre Delaney, Edwina Keane and Aine Fahy, who are all on foreign travels.
Kilkenny have consecutive home games against Clare and Wexford on March 11 and 25 respectively before concluding the group phase with an away trip to Dublin on Easter Sunday.
The intermediate side is managed by Mattie Butler for the second year. They have a home game against Tipperary on March 11, with away games against Meath and Down on April 8 and 15 respectively.
The format of the Leagues has changed this year.
All eight teams in Division I are grouped together with each team playing four times. The top four teams qualify for the semi-finals.
The semi-finals will be played on April 29 with the League final down for decision the same day as the hurling final, May 6.
The Kilkenny intermediates will need to win their group to make the League final, which is also down for decision on May 6.
Meanwhile, following the action in the Ashbourne and Purcell Cup the All-Stars teams from the series were named.
Kilkenny girls were well represented, with four of the successful WIT team named.
Ruth Jones, Denise Gaule, Marie Dargan and team captain Katie Power were named in a strong looking attack that also included 2010 player of the year Katriona Parrock.
Also, Emma Staunton, Paulstown, representing UCD, was named as goalkeeper.
Meanwhile, four Kilkenny players were named on the Purcell All-star selection.
The Purcell All-Stars selection included players that played in the Fr Meagher Cup, and Orlaith Walsh, St Martin’s, who was right-half-forward on the St Pat’s, Drumcondra team beaten by Mary Immaculate College was rewarded for her displays throughout the competition.
Lisa Carey and Mairead Power, representing DCU, also made the All-Star team at full-back and right half-back respectively. Rebecca Cleere, O’Loughlin’s, representing NUI Maynooth, was picked at right corner-back.
DCU easily defeated Queens University Belfast 4-7 to 0-4 in the Purcell Cup with Kilkenny well represented.
Mairead Power gave a sensational alongside the equally brilliant Emma Brennan from Naomh Brid, Leighlinbridge, Carlow who was playing at centre-back.
Brennan scored 1-4, all from placed balls. She was deservedly named on the Purcell All-Stars.
Stacey Quirke, St Martin’s at left-half-back was also superb in the final. She was very unfortunate to miss out on on selection.