Champions Cork aiming to avenge league final defeat to Galway

High-profile clash the opening match of new 10-team camogie championship

Revenge will be the spur for Cork when they meet Galway in the opening match of the 2015 Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship this Saturday. They will be eager to reap revenge for the westerners' victory in the Division One final last month.

The game in Tullamore will precede the Leinster senior hurling semi-final between Galway and Laois – another new 'double header' initiative introduced by the Camogie Association this year.

The match is the first of a 10-team tournament which is broken into two groups with both first-placed teams being seeded into the semi-finals while second and third-placed teams from both groups will battle out quarter-final ties.

Since last year’s All-Ireland victory Cork have been ravaged with absences as a total of nine players have either retired or are unavailable for selection.


Galway, meanwhile, will have the experienced duo of Sinéad Cahalan and Therese Manton available for selection after both missed the league run.

Competitive match

Since then Galway haven’t played a competitive match, due to there being no Connacht championship. In stark contrast, Cork have had the benefit of contesting and winning the



Galway captain Sarah Dervan is well aware of how those games could stand to Cork on Saturday but says that there has never been any talk of Galway moving, like their hurlers, into the Leinster championship.

“We go back to our clubs for a while and we have our club league and then just challenge matches really – 15 versus 15 between ourselves to try and learn. It’s never even been mentioned entering Leinster. It’d be great to be able to get more games because games bring you on and that’s what you need to win.”

For Cork there’s the debate about whether the provincial championship is undervalued as it doesn’t carry a seeding for the All-Ireland. Cork captain Ashling Thompson still feels it proves beneficial.

With it being separate people regard it as being a little thing, but it is still a championship. League is league and All-Ireland is All-Ireland. It’s a Munster Championship whether it is a part of the All-Ireland or not. Winning it after losing the league final was good for us,” said the 24-year-old.

Camogie Association president Catherine Neary feels that the placing of the provincial championship has helped it maintain importance.

“There was a fear among people that it would be devalued and teams wouldn’t bother. What I think has happened is that the provinces have worked very hard and they have placed it at a time of the year where it will be important and where there will be competitive games, rather than put it in at the tail-end of the year where it might become unimportant.

“So it’s about emphasising its place in the calendar and its value. When you talk to the players, it still has huge value for them to compete in and win a provincial final, but its place is the key.”

Ruaidhrí Croke

Ruaidhrí Croke

Ruaidhrí Croke is a sports journalist with The Irish Times