A DAUNTING challenge lies in wait for Kilkenny as they chase a place in the National Camogie League final.
The obstacle in their path is the not-so-small matter of reigning All-Ireland and League champions Wexford. The Slaneysiders are likely to be a strong outfit, with the Oulart the Ballagh contingent of Ursula Jacob, sisters Mary and Una Leacy plus All-Star forward Kate Kelly almost certain to start.
The quartet didn’t start Wexford’s one point victory over Kilkenny in Thomastown a month ago. That was a game the hosts should have won, but squandering scoring chances proved to be their downfall.
Kilkenny, who have eight newcomers to senior inter-county camogie, have acquitted themselves well this season. However, their return in attack is a source of concern, as they have only contributed a combined total of 2-9 from play in their four matches.
Despite missing several players from last season’s panel, Kilkenny have made it to a league semi-final. Although their campaign started with a comprehensive 3-14 to 0-6 defeat to Cork, a storming second half display saw them overturn a five-point deficit to beat Clare by 0-11 to 1-4.
That win was followed by that loss to Wexford in Thomastown, but Kilkenny bounced back to beat Dublin - just - by 2-9 to 2-8 on Easter Sunday. The Cats led by 2-5 to 0-1 after just 24 minutes, but were fortunate to hold on for a win against a wasteful Dublin.
They have had an up and down season, but a top performance will be required if they’re to upset the Model on Sunday.
The game will be played at 2.30pm at the WIT Sports Campus in Carriganore.