There are three weekends left of camogie championship action in Kilkenny and this weekend we’re down to the quarter-final stage.
Eight teams take to the field, four teams progress and with extra time to be played to get a winner on the day, it could come right down to the wire in some of this Sunday’s senior fixtures.
Áine and Martin have been talking them through on this week’s Camán Caint which you can listen to below, or read on for Áine’s match predictions.
St. Brigid’s v Piltown, Kilmanagh, 11.30am
“I think St Brigid’s having home venue, that’s going to be a huge thing for them.”
“They’re going to need every advantage that they can get coming up against Piltown. I do feel like Piltown are just going to be more superior on the day. I can’t see it being a whitewash by any means.”
“I think St Brigid’s have been extremely good and extremely competitive this year in the championship. People probably won’t have expected them to finish top of the group, win two games and they did – and just rewards – and they came out of that with a home venue against Piltown this weekend and they’re going to be fully focused.
“Obviously, they didn’t have a game last weekend, they got a run out with their juniors which was great to see. I think if their juniors had won at the weekend, it would have been great momentum to carry into this weekend’s game.”
“I would be fearful there, I do think Piltown are going to come out the winners of that one”, says Áine
“But it could be a close enough game”, suggests Martin Quilty as a counter, “and again, if St. Brigid’s get their tactics right, getting players that will match up with the likes Kellyann, Aoife, Katie Power, they can actually put it up to them.”
“They certainly can”, says Áine, “and I think the one thing about St Brigid’s, with so many young players coming through that are showing absolutely no fear – Claire Doheny, Niamh Brett, Lauren Ronan, Tara Ronan is in there as well, Marie Doheny.”
“With all that inter-county experience, from winning All-Irelands to getting into All-Irelands this year, it’s been great for them. They’re just so, so young and potentially, Piltown could take them for granted.”
“That’s where Piltown could get caught, if they are to be caught, but I just feel that PIltown will be a lot stronger for them on the day.”
Áine’s verdict: Piltown
Dicksboro v Lisdowney/St.Lachtain’s, Palmerstown, 11.30am
“This is going to be an exciting game”, starts Áine of the second senior quarter-final of the weekend.”
“I do feel like there is a little bit of revenge in it for Dicksboro from last year, they probably weren’t expecting Lisdowney/St. Lachtains to come out and beat them last year in the in the round stages of it and they were very, very disappointed with that and that kind of set Dicksboro up for nearly their own demise last year.”
“I just think the way both teams are hurling this year, I do feel that Dicksboro have got more momentum with them.”
“Yeah, it was a great result at the weekend for Lisdowney/St. Lachtains against Windgap, but I just think as a structure and as a team as a whole, I think Dicksboro are definitely the stronger team.”
“I think it will be a close battle and I’d never underestimate Lisdowney/St. Lachtains because they can pop out of anywhere and you know they’re going to have it in their mind that they do want to get back to a county final – and that’s their aim.”
“But I just think Dicksboro, at home, that’s a tough ground to go in there. It’s a tight pitch as well. Lisdowney/St. Lachtains aren’t going to get all that space that they would have wanted, especially in their full-forward line”
“They’re not going to get all that space because Dicksboro is so imposing. It’s so tight and even with the rails and the wall around it it just makes the pitch seems so much smaller than it actually is.”
“Anything is possible, yeah, but it would be hard to seed DIcksboro not walk away with a victory in that one.”
Áine’s verdict: Dicksboro
Young Irelands v Clara, Gowran, 11am
“My head keeps changing with this one”, starts Áine.
“On Monday it was Young Irelands, on Tuesday it was Clara, I actually have no idea.”
“Clara are a phenomenal team, but the more games Young Irelands are getting under their belts, the more momentum they’re bringing.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a draw match, it’s just one came I actually cannot call. If anyone is around in Gowran at 11 on Sunday morning, definitely get to that game because it’s going to be a cracker.”
Áine’s verdict: Too tight to call, extra-time to be played with a draw predicted in normal time
Tullaroan v Thomastown, Tullaroan, 11am
“I think we have just the same chance as anybody left in the competition” says Áine of her own Tullaroan club.
“We’re down to the business end of the season, Thomastown still have to come out and beat us. We’re not going down there to just put on jerseys and make up a team for the day.”
“Listen, we’re not stupid. We know the task that’s ahead of us, it’s a monumental task. I’ve been saying all year about Tullaroan – we can only focus on ourselves, we can only control what we can control, and we’re not going to be worrying about who they have or who they don’t have, or who’s playing for them or who’s not playing.”
“We have some girls that are really just on fire, Niamh Dowling is on fire for us this year, Grace Walsh has been phenomenal, Miriam is just a constant threat up there. With so many girls are really just showcasing Ciara Murphy’s excellent, Noelle Maher could have scored six goals last week if she wanted to.”
“We know we’re going in as underdogs, without a doubt. We just have to focus on ourselves. It is. It’s a huge task for us. But if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best and you have to play against the best and that’s the attitude we’re going to go down as well.”
Camán Caint, our dedicated camogie podcast, is presented by Martin Quilty and Áine Fahey, with new episodes available on Tuesday nights throughout the regular/championship season. Listen to season one now in your favourite podcast app or online at scoreline.ie.