Preparations are well underway in both the Cork and Wexford camps ahead of their All-Ireland senior camogie championship final on September 16th in Croke Park.
Both sides recorded strong victories in their semi-final encounters, with Cork defeating Galway on a score-line of 3-10 to 0-12, with Wexford running out easy 3-14 to 0-5 winners against a young Offaly side.
Cork were lucky to edge out a determined Galway side, with spectators witnessing a terrific contest in Kilkenny’s Nowlan Park in early August.
However, Jennifer O’Leary’s surging run split the Galway defence, and she offloaded to Katriona Mackey who duly dispatched it to the Galway net to send the Rebelettes on their way to the final.
Cork have improved hugely so far this year, but the Wexford ladies are current All-Ireland champions, and will be bidding for glory for the third consecutive year.
The aforementioned O’Leary has been simply sensational for the Cork ladies so far in this year’s championship, with the Barryroe clubwoman unstoppable at times. Her free-taking has also been impeccable, and Wexford will need to eliminate any unnecessary fouls in their upcoming final battle.
The Leinster champions recorded a thoroughly comprehensive semi-final victory over a spirited Offaly side, with Ursula Jacob and Katrina Parrock impressing up front.
Wexford never looked like they were struggling during their semi-final, but this Cork side will take a mammoth effort to beat.
An injury suffered to centre-forward Una Leacy did halt Wexford’s momentum somewhat during their semi-final win, and management are hoping that the influential forward has made a full recovery ahead of Sunday weeks’ final.
Others to impress thus far in the championship include the aforementioned Parrock and Jacob, as well as Mary Leacy in defence. This will undoubtedly be a mouth-watering encounter, with little or nothing between the sides in the lead-up to the final.
Cork’s strength and depth may prove to be the deciding factor in who brings the title home. Can Wexford retain their title and be crowned three-in-a-row champions, or can Cork steal the win?
I may be biased given the fact I am a Cork woman, but I feel that the Rebelettes may have the edge over the current champions on the 16th, but it won’t be easy. There will be a puck of the ball between them, but I predict a very tight Cork victory.
Throw-in on Sunday, September 16 at Croke Park is at 4pm, as part of a triple header with both the All-Ireland intermediate and All-Ireland junior finals also taking place earlier that day in GAA headquarters.