PREVIEW: All Eyes Are On Croke Park This Sunday For Camogie All-Ireland Finals 6 years ago

PREVIEW: All Eyes Are On Croke Park This Sunday For Camogie All-Ireland Finals

All roads lead to Croke Park this weekend for the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland camogie finals.

In the senior final, Cork will kick off the defence of their All-Ireland crown when they go head-to-head with Galway at 4pm, in the third of a mouth-watering triple header at GAA headquarters.

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REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Liberty Insurance Camogie Championship Round 1, OÕConnor Park, Tullamore, Offaly 20/6/2015 Galway vs Cork Galway's Jessica Gill and Briege Corkery of Cork Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Briege Corkery in action for Cork.

Cork will be hoping third time’s the charm against the Tribeswomen, who have already defeated them twice this year, and will be looking to stalwarts such as Briege Corkery, Orla Cotter and Ashling Thompson to lead the way.

"I’m so excited it’s a massive opportunity for us again to get back to Croke Park," Thompson told Her.ie.

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Liberty Insurance Senior Camogie Championship Semi-Final, Walsh Park, Waterford 16/8/2015 Kilkenny vs Cork Cork's Ashling Thompson leads out her team Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Cork's Ashling Thompson leads out her team.

"We’re honoured to make it to the final - it’s what you set out to do from your first training session. I never doubted our team, everyone else did, especially going in against Kilkenny but we proved them wrong," she continued.

"We had no fear in that game. We went down by seven points after 10 minutes but we never gave up. The burst always comes - we’re patient."

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Liberty Insurance Senior Camogie Championship Semi-Final, Walsh Park, Waterford 16/8/2015 Kilkenny vs Cork Cork's Ashling Thompson Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

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Ashling Thompson in action.

"I’ve great respect for Galway they’re a fantastic team, they’ve great respect for us too I’m sure. They beat us in the League and the first round of the championship, but that was early days.

"We’re getting in to form now, so we’re confident – not cocky – but confident. It’s their All-Ireland to lose, they’ve beaten us twice already this year, so I think the pressure is on them not us."

Ashling Thompson of Cork
Ashling Thompson is looking forward to Sunday.

Galway meanwhile are back in Croke Park for the first time since 2013 and will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten run in this year’s championship when they face Cork once more.

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They will be looking to Niamh McGrath, Niamh Kilkenny and Shauna Healy for big performances on the day.

Galway's Niamh Kilkenny told Her.ie that she is also looking forward to the day.

Irish Daily Star Camogie Division 1 League Final 3/5/2015 Cork vs Galway Galway's Niamh Kilkenny celebrates at the final whistle Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan Niamh celebrating Galway's win over Cork this year. 
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"We had a tough competitive game against Wexford in the semi-final, and hopefully that’s a game that will stand to us," she said.

"The feeling of relief when that point went over the bar in the semi. We were delighted! It was typical Wexford, they have a never say die attitude.

"We were five points up but they kept coming at us and it was a very tough game. Now, we’re looking forward to All-Ireland final day."

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Niamh Kilkenny of Galway Niamh Kilkenny of Galway

"This is our third time to meet Cork this year and they will have great motivation as we’ve beaten them twice," she reflected.

"We’ve developed a great rivalry with Cork over the last number of years, they’re All-Ireland champions, they’re the team to beat at the moment and we can't wait for the final.

"It’s great to be back in Croke Park. Your main aim at the start of the year is to get here – to be running out onto Croke Park in the maroon and white jersey is a dream and to be living it now is pretty amazing," she finished.

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Liberty Insurance Camogie Championship Round 1, OÕConnor Park, Tullamore, Offaly 20/6/2015 Galway vs Cork Captains Niamh Kilkenny of Galway and Ashling Thompson of Cork with referee Ray Kelly during the coin toss Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Niamh Kilkenny of Galway and Ashling Thompson of Cork

Meanwhile, it will be the turn of Waterford and Kildare in the intermediate final at 2pm. Waterford have been there or thereabouts for a number of years, and will relish their moment in the sun at Croke Park.

The Deise women will be looking to Trish Jackman for inspiration and have a fantastic blend of youth and experience on the day.

Speaking to Her.ie, Waterford's Caitriona McGlone was all set for the big day.

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Final Camogie Finals CaptainsÕ Day. Croke Park, Dublin. 4/9/2015 Pictured at the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Camogie Finals CaptainsÕ Day held in Croke Park, Thursday, September 3rd were: (l-r) Premier Junior finalist, Siobh‡n Coyle of Roscommon, WaterfordÕs Caithr’ona McGlone, Intermediate finalist, Ashling Thompson of defending Senior champions Cork, Galway Senior captain Niamh Kilkenny, KildareÕs Susie OÕCarroll, Intermediate finalist, and Niamh Dollard, Laois, premier Junior finalist. The Camogie Association will use Hawk-Eye, the point technology system on All-Ireland Finals Day on September 13th and are the first female Gaelic Games organisation to utilise the system. Defending champions Cork are going for their second title-in-a-row and will be aiming to equal DublinÕs record of 25 senior All-Ireland titles. Full details on the upcoming games are available on www.camogie.ie Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
The captains are ready.

"We’re feeling great, the mood in the camp is great and training has been going well," she said.

"Meath threw everything at us in the semi-final, they really put it up to us, and now we’re really looking forward to the Kildare game.

"It’s great, a lot of young girls dream of coming up to Croke Park and playing, especially with the blue and white jersey on. We’ve been unbeaten this year, hopefully we can keep it going and we’re 60 minutes away from the chance of an All-Ireland trophy."

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Liberty Insurance Intermediate Camogie Championship Semi-Final, Nowlan Park, Kilkenny 22/8/2015 Cork vs Kildare Susie O'Carroll of Kildare with Niamh O'Keeffe of Cork Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer
Kildare's Susie O'Carroll in action.

Meanwhile, Kildare are in their second intermediate campaign and will be hoping to advance to senior camogie. They lost out to Waterford earlier this year in both the group and Division 2 semi-final stages.

However, they put in a fantastic performance against Cork in the semi-final and will be hoping to build on that this weekend.

"We're really looking forward to it," said Susie O'Carroll. "We’re in training and can’t wait!

"It’s great to be back in Croke Park. Hopefully the county will get behind us, the ladies footballer are in Croke Park too so there should be a good atmosphere."

Meanwhile, in the first game of the day, the All-Ireland Premier Junior final will get underway at 12 noon and will see Roscommon and Laois do battle for glory.

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Final Camogie Finals CaptainsÕ Day. Croke Park, Dublin. 4/9/2015 Pictured at the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Camogie Finals CaptainsÕ Day held in Croke Park, Thursday, September 3rd was of defending Senior champions Cork. The Camogie Association will use Hawk-Eye, the point technology system on All-Ireland Finals Day on September 13th and are the first female Gaelic Games organisation to utilise the system. Defending champions Cork are going for their second title-in-a-row and will be aiming to equal DublinÕs record of 25 senior All-Ireland titles. Full details on the upcoming games are available on www.camogie.ie Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
There are going to be three big games on Sunday.

Laois will be hoping this year is their year having previously lost out to Kildare (2013) and Down (2014) at this stage of the competition. Key players for them will be Louise Mahony, Niamh Dollard and Eimear Delaney.

"We can’t wait, we’ve waited for this all year," Niamh Dollard told Her.ie. "Our aim was to get to Croke Park on September 13th and now we’re here so we can’t wait.

"We hope to go one step further, we’ve had the experience of being here and we know Roscommon will put up a good game for us but we're ready.

Meanwhile, Roscommon are coming to Croke Park in search of their county’s first title and will be hoping for big performances from Kelly Hopkins and Niamh Farrell on the day.

Siobhan Coyle told Her.ie they were also looking forward to it but that "it's a little bit surreal."

"We’re working hard now," she added. "And we're not going to let the occasion get to us, and see what happens on the day."