Ulster teams in All-Ireland camogie finals this weekend

Tipperary v Waterford, UPMC Nowlan Park, 4.30pm
Referee: Gavin Donegan (Dublin)
Appearing in another All-Ireland final at minor A level 12 months after doing so for the first time is another sign of the depth of the game in Waterford at present. After giving hot favourites Cork the fright of their lives last year, manager Mark English and his current group will be intent on getting over the line this time around.

Maggie Gostl was electric then and it is no surprise to see her causing carnage in opposition defences again. The De La Salle sharpshooter plundered 1-7  in the 3-9 to 1-10 semi-final defeat of Cork six days ago, Eimear O’Neill and Rebecca Farrell grabbing the other goals.

O’Neill, Katelyn Gardner, Alex Healy Hannah McGrath, Katelyn Lyons and Emma Fitzgerald are among the others that remain from last year and that gives them a very strong core of talent and experience.

Tipperary are basking in their own glory at the moment, having won the Very National League Division 1A title at senior level recently. Notably, a number of that squad that has anchored the Premiers’ return to the big time played in the county’s two successes at this grade, in 2011 and 2016.

The current crop came through extra time in the baking heat of their semi-final against Kilkenny. Caoimhe Stakelum nabbed a first-half goal for Tipp but they needed to show real character to overcome a two-point deficit in the dying embers of the game. Buoyed by that rescue act, John Ryan’s charges tore out of the traps with the first four points of extra time to see off their Noreside neighbours.

They have met twice this year, with Waterford winning the group game in this Championship but a stunning contribution of 1-9 from Stakelum and strong performances from Paula Quirke, Sarah Corcoran and Danielle Ryan earning John Ryan’s crew the Munster title.


Dublin v Wexford, UPMC Nowlan Park, 2.30pm
Referee: Gavin Donegan (Dublin)

Just like the Championship Final combatants, these two teams know each other relatively well having crossed swords twice in recent months. And just like Waterford and Tipperary, the scoreline stands at one apiece.

Their first clash was in the Leinster semi-final and on that occasion it was Wexford that came out on top after a humdinger, 1-13 to 1-10, the sides having been level at the change of ends.

Dublin ‘keeper Mia Farrell had pulled off some smart saves but could not deny Kayla Reddy a goal that ultimately decided the contest, The impressive Eimear Kehoe responded for the Dubs and though Caitlin McKenna registered five points, Wexford had a number of multiples scorers, including Katie Bolger, Karen Hayden and Abbie Doyle and that got the over the line.

They clashed once more as the group stages of the All-Ireland Championship got under way at the beginning of March, when a late Liadh Murray goal snatched victory for the Blues in Killurin.

The visitors registered three goals to record that one-point victory, Gemma Connolly helping herself to a brace, and while Wexford appeared to have a greater all-round scoring threat on the day, hitting 15 points, that lack of defensive solidity, plus their own inability to raise a green flag proved crucial.

Clearly there isn’t much between the teams however, so the result may well be in doubt right up to the final whistle.


Armagh v Kildare, Kinnegad, 3pm
Referee: Enda Loughnane (Galway)

Armagh came out on top of their three-team group, scoring heavily in their triumphs over subsequent B Shield finalists Meath and Westmeath.

Kildare had a four-team group and after impressive wins against Down and Kerry, were held to a draw by Carlow, though they were already assured of topping the pile by that juncture.

It was the two teams from Group 1 that came out of the quarter-final jousts and Kildare went goal crazy in accounting for Kerry by 5-11 to 1-8 at Banagher in their semi-final.

The battle between Armagh and Carlow was a corker, supporters getting full value for their admission price before the crew clad in orange and white prevailed, 4-12 to 2-13 at Dunganny.

All the indications are that this will go down to the wire.


Meath v Westmeath, Kinnegad, 1pm
Referee: Karol Collins (Galway)

These two were in the same group and while they found B Championship finalists Armagh too hot to handle, they have their own shot at silverware now. On their efforts against the Orchard County girls, they seem evenly enough matched but when they faced off on St Patrick’s Day, it was the Royals that were victorious in the local derby.

Kerry had too much firepower for Westmeath in the B Championship quarter-final, and though Meath threatened Carlow throughout, they were five points short at the final whistle.

That set up this clash for Shield honours and in a one-off encounter with cup on the line, anything could happen.


Mayo v Tyrone, Drumlane, 2pm
Referee: Simon Redmond (Dublin)

When the teams met in the group stages at St Patrick’s Park in Omagh, it took a goal from Hannah Hauttman with almost the final stroke of the game to earn a share of the spoils for Mayo.

This was a real to-and-fro affair, though Tyrone’s quick brand of camogie had caused the visitors some problems initially. Eimear Cunningham, Niamh McElduff, Eva Cullen, Catherine Mackin and Rhianne McLoughlin’s are all considerable performers for the Red Hands.

They will, however, be disappointed that they conceded two first-half goals to Cathy Greally and Kate Tener to fall behind despite having had so much of the play. They themselves responded impressively, however, with a pair of goals from Cullen and another by McElduff to lead by seven points at the break.

Mayo dominated after the resumption thanks to Hauttman, Megan O’Malley and Greally. Tyrone only managed three points in the second half, all from Catherine Moohan, but that contribution looked enough to secure victory until the brilliant Hauttman drilled to the net.

That meant they finished first and second in the group, Mayo’s marginally superior score difference earning them top seeding. As a result, the westerners were too strong for Cavan in their semi-final at Ballinasloe. Tyrone had to work much harder to get over the line against Wicklow, edging the verdict by just two points at Dunganny.

On the evidence of the group game, there will be little between these two.


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