Kilkenny and Galway will renew camogie rivalries this weekend as the 2020 and 2021 respective All-Ireland champions meet for a place in the 2022 decider next month.
The Cats had three points to spare over Galway in their 2020 All-Ireland victory, before Cork edged Brian Dowling’s side by a point in the 2021 semi-finals, Galway ultimately going on to claim their fourth All-Ireland title this year.
On Saturday, only one side can progress to the 2022 decider.
During Tuesday night’s Camán Caint podcast, Áine Fahey put the question to former Kilkenny standout Elaine Aylward about the drawn game in Athenry earlier this month (final group stage game) and whether the result would hurt Galway more in the buildup.
“It’s been a funny one”, says Aylward, “the teams that have often one those last group games have gone on and been knocked out of the Championship. I don’t think it carries a huge amount of merit most years but I do think Galway – they are league and All-Ireland champions – will like to think they’re kicking on a little bit and try make a bit of history putting All-Irelands titles back-to-back”
“The fact that they couldn’t beat Kilkenny up there, it probably will hang over them. I’m sure it’s something Cathal Murray will have used over the last couple of weeks to motivate them in training, to say ‘there’s no point in being relaxed here or think we have this Championship won, we saw what Kilkenny came up here and did last weekend’.”
“I think the Kilkenny camp, the week after that draw, will probably have been a happier camp. They’d gone up there, got the draw, got the performance. Galway, at home, in front a huge home crowd that day couldn’t get the job done. There’s a sense that no matter what they do, they just can’t quite get rid of Kilkenny and no matter how well they’re going they just couldn’t beat them on that particular day.”
“If Kilkenny are still in the rearview mirror with Galway coming down the home straight on Saturday evening, you can be sure a couple of doubts will creep in and there’ll be a couple of question marks over that Athenry performance.”
You can hear the whole conversation on the latest edition of Camán Caint, streaming below or wherever you get your podcasts.
Listen: Camán Caint with Derek Lyons, Elaine Aylward