KILKENNY’S minor camogie team will be hoping their Easter weekend ends on an egg-cellent note as they go chasing a place in the All-Ireland final.
With the minor championship being run off much earlier than normal this year, Kilkenny cam book their place in the first major inter-county final of the year provided they can get past Cork this weekend (time and venue to be confirmed).
With seven teams competing in the minor championship, the draw deemed that the winners of the Kilkenny and Galway clash would go straight into the semi-finals.
Cork had a hard fought opening encounter, beating Limerick by 0-12 to 0-8, before safely negotiating their way past Dublin on a 3-12 to 1-9 scoreline.
Despite playing just one game it wasn’t all plain sailing for Kilkenny, who showed great resilience to overturn a five-point deficit against Galway.
Although they bossed the possession stakes Kilkenny trailed by 1-4 to 0-2 at the interval - they also shot eight wides to Galway’s one. With new manager Damien Walsh and his mentors ringing the changes, several switches helped to decide the outcome. Kate Holland was introduced as a half-time substitute at wing-back, while Kelly Hamilton’s move to full-forward saw her score the decisive goal in the 1-9 to 1-8 win.
Kilkenny have a very strong panel, with a wealth of experience at this grade. Eight of the team who took on Galway started in last year’s All-Ireland final against Tipperary. With players of the calibre of Niamh Phelan, Megan Farrell, Miriam Walsh and Lydia Fitzpatrick in their ranks, there is enough to drive the side into an All-Ireland showdown against either defending champions Tipperary or Galway.
Meanwhile, both the seniors and intermediates travel to Dublin and Meath for big game on Sunday.
The seniors must beat Dublin to keep their play-off hopes alive.
Kilkenny can take pride from the way they have made substantial improvements in their performances with each game they have played. The newcomers have been thrown in at the deep end in the absence of a whole host of last year’s panel, but Mairead Power, Caoimhe Shiel, Orlaith Walsh and Aoife Lyng all proved they can perform at the highest level, something which has been a great source of comfort during the campaign.
Dublin caused a shock, beating Tipperary in an earlier round, but Kilkenny’s good record in the capital should continue this weekend.
The Intermediates have an early start to their Easter Sunday as they travel to Pairc Tailteann to play Meath with a 12.30pm throw-in time.
Despite very spirited displays, their results haven’t got the rewards they deserved. While their chances of making a league final are at an end, wins in their final two games against Meath and Down would provide confidence ahead of the Summer championship.