Everyone will tell you that when it comes to championship, league form goes out the window.
Kilkenny have home advantage this weekend for the counties Leinster intermediate camogie championship semi-final against Wexford and the senior decider against Dublin with UPMC Nowlan Park housing both games this Saturday from 12.30pm.
Given Kilkenny’s mixed run of form in the league, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Cats are down and out or going through a rough patch, a transitional period, call it what you like. For KCLR analyst and Camán Caint co-host Áine Farrell though, the 2016 All-Ireland winning intermediate captain reckons Dublin won’t be any match for Brian Dowling’s side this time out.
Having lost their opening two games of the VERY Camogie League Division 1A to Clare and Galway, Kilkenny used a trip to Parnell Park to bounce back with a 0-17 to 0-11 win over the Dubs, a side they now face again in this year’s Leinster senior final. They’ll have to do without the services of Miriam Walsh, a standout in last year’s encounter at the same stage, but with new faces hunting for jerseys and familiar faces back in the fold, Farrell is confident of a Kilkenny win and more silverware for defending All-Ireland champions.
“I expected Meath to come out of that semi-final, I actually didn’t think Dublin would get through their quarter-final, if I’m being completely honest”, Farrell told this week’s Camán Caint podcast when asked about the prospects for both Dublin and Kilkenny this Saturday at Kilkenny GAA HQ.
“That was a lot got to do with their league performances and how they had gone in the league but they really seemed to revive themselves. They got a good victory over Wexford in the first round, they got another very good victory over Meath and I think Dublin camogie are certainly going to be using this as a stepping stone for themselves like they did last year for the All-Ireland series. They’re two games they will definitely take a massive amount of confidence from.”
“Looking at Kilkenny though, if I was a Dublin supporter I would be very worried coming down to Nowlan Park to play Kilkenny in their own back garden for a Leinster title. Especially the way Kilkenny seem to be hurling at the moment. Having that break for a couple of weeks [before Westmeath in the semi-final], coming out ruthless, aggressive, it’s the old Kilkenny that we were looking at in the latter stages of the All-Ireland Championship last year. I would fear for Dublin coming into this.”
“There are some new faces in there in that Kilkenny team and they’re going to be wanting to put down a marker to nail a jersey for the All-Ireland championship and they know this is probably their last chance in doing it. I think Kilkenny will come away with a victory in this.”
You can find out for yourself on Saturday afternoon with a double-header of championship camogie underway from 12.30pm with the meeting of Kilkenny and Wexford in the Leinster intermediate semi-final, before Kilkenny and Dublin take to the field at 2.30pm. Find both games on air, online and in the KCLR app this weekend with thanks to Lowry’s Carpets & Furniture, Kilkenny.