James Stephens are 60 minutes away from a Leinster camogie intermediate club title, a first for the Kilkenny city club.
Having come up through the junior ranks, the Village fell at the final hurdle of the Kilkenny intermediate club championships in 2021 to Barrow Rangers, but made up for it in abundance with a strong showing in 2022 to claim this year’s county title over Rower Inistioge and secure senior action next season.
Heading into Leinster for the first time, the women from the Kells Road made home advantage count in the quarter-finals with a win over Raharney before pushing all the way to the end last weekend against St. Brigids of Laois, trailing by three points in the dying minutes of the game only to hit four straight and seal a 0-9 to 0-8 point win to set up a provincial final showdown with seasoned veterans Myshall.
With another trophy this season very much a possibility, club chairman Brian Leahy has been heaping praise on the team as whole with the roots of their performances not just lying in this year’s club campaign.
“They’re great under pressure but [against St. Brigids] it was about work rate”, Leahy told Scoreline.
“There is spirit in the team. They’ve been together four years now and we said it to them – have confidence going in. They were only beat twice in four years, junior final and intermediate final. Have confidence in your ability and if you go behind you know you’re still in it. Keep working and working and working.”
“In fairness, the engine room there with Michelle, Niamh, Emma Manogue, it’s massive. It was all over the field but those three, you’ll never get the better of them.”
In Myshall they will have a stern test as the perennial senior county champions in Carlow bring more Leinster experience to the fold and also have the benefit of coming through a close game of their own at the weekend.
Having blasted their way to a six point lead at half time against Na Fianna on Saturday, the Meath side roared to life in the second half keeping Myshall to just two scores as they hit seven of their own, albeit not enough to close the gap entirely.
James Stephens and Myshall meet in Clane this Sunday at 2pm in the Leinster intermediate camogie club championship final. Tickets are on sale now.