Glen Dimplex All-Ireland senior final
Cork v Kilkenny, 4.15pm
Cork v Galway, 2pm
Premier junior final
Antrim v Armagh, 12pm
Live coverage of all three finals on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from 11.45am. Highlights on The Sunday Game from 9.30pm on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player.
Live score updates on Antrim v Armagh and Cork v Galway, with live tracker on Cork v Kilkenny, on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News Now app.
Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 will have live commentaries from 2pm.
Dry with sunny spells on Sunday morning but patchy cloud and a few light showers will develop through the middle of the day before a return to sunny spells by evening. Highest temperatures of 17 to 21 degrees in light westerly or variable breezes.
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Old rivals renew acquaintance
This is the 15th meeting of Cork and Kilkenny in a senior final but the first since 2018, when Aoife Murray received the O'Duffy Cup on behalf of the Rebels. They have won a semi-final clash each in the last two seasons.
The old rivals are deadlocked on seven triumphs apiece. Though Cork won their first two meetings, in 1970 and 1972 as the Rebels registered a four-in-a-row, it was all about the Black and Amber for a lengthy spell, with six consecutive final defeats of the Leesiders, the sixth arriving as Kilkenny completed an overall seven-in-a-row in 1991.
That team was captained by Angela Downey, who along with another former All-Ireland-winning skipper, Breda Holmes is a part of the current team's backroom group, having being brought in by Angela’s twin, Ann – herself an All-Ireland-winning captain and manager.
Linda Mellerick’s last-gasp goal to snatch victory in 1995 heralded the Reds’ comeback against the Stripeywomen in deciders and they have inflicted more late torment with the injury-time winning points of Julia White and Orla Cotter in 2017 and 2018.
Cork have won five of the last six final pairings, 2016 being the odd one out when Michelle Quilty became the first Kilkenny skipper to get her hands on the O’Duffy memorial since her manager, the aforementioned Ann Downey.
This is the first time in more than a decade that Paudie Murray isn’t boss of Cork, one of his former lieutenants Matthew Twomey taking over and illustrious hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald taking over the coaching duties.
The blood and bandage reached the league final but fell short to Galway, who had also proven a tad too good in last year’s All-Ireland final.
They cruised through the championship group stages until being stunned by Tipperary in the last round, but that didn’t impact on their direct progression to the semi-final, where they survived a huge challenge from Waterford before prevailing by a flattering five points.
They will need to be a lot better than was the case for at least 40 minutes of that game if they are to beat Kilkenny, particularly in attack.
Ashling Thompson, who will start the decider, had a major impact upon her introduction, while Libby Coppinger and Saoirse McCarthy also stood out and Amy O’Connor did the business from placed balls. Emma Murphy also made some big plays when brought on in the second half.
WATCH: Fantastic tackle from Aisling Thompson sets Cork away on the counterattack and Fiona Keating puts the ball between the posts to put Cork within 2 points, 43 minutes gone. Watch live on RTE Two and RTE Player now: Live updates: https://t.co/egvXG7iBXn pic.twitter.com/M0Udv9Pqri— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 23, 2022
Kilkenny remain unbeaten all season in competitive games, only failing to reach the league final on score difference after Cork’s Chloe Sigerson pegged them back with a very late pointed free from distance to nab a draw. They then claimed provincial honours and manager Brian Dowling has spoken about how seriously they took that competition this year.
They scored heavily through the championship group stages, before again just losing out on score difference, this time for the direct semi-final route, thanks to Áine Keane’s stupendous equaliser for Galway in a game for the ages at Kenny Park.
The rematch was set-up by a comfortable win over Dublin in the quarter-final and colossal workrate, allied with four big saves from Aoife Norris and Laura Murphy’s brilliant goal gave the Noresiders a four-point win over the defending champions in the last four.
Miriam Walsh has been operating at her very best levels as the attacking focal point, while Julianne Malone’s return after a three-year absence has added class and a regular scoring return to the forward division. Katie Nolan is in perpetual motion, with or without the ball, while Claire Phelan’s reading of the play and the marking of Michelle Teehan and Grace Walsh have been vital to their side’s progression.
Kilkenny 1-07 Galway 0-09 - Laura Murphy strikes a wonderful goal from distance to put the Cats ahead. Watch live on RTÉ 2 and the RTÉ Player now. Live updates: https://t.co/egvXG7iBXn #RTEGAA pic.twitter.com/TZ2Pdouj1Q— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 23, 2022
Both teams are missing influential figures from last year’s semi-final, when Cork edged the verdict. Orla Cronin, Pamela Mackey and Laura Collins are significant losses for Cork but Kilkenny have been harder hit, Davina Tobin, Collette Dormer, Meighan Farrell, Kellyann Doyle and Aoife Doyle all out of the loop through retirement, travelling and injury.
But Kilkenny have the likes of Tiffany Fitzgerald, Steffi Fitzgerald and Michaela Kenneally, who have capitalised on the increased opportunities, while for Cork, Méabh Murphy, Clíona Healy are Katie O’Mahony among those to have established themselves as regular first-team starters while former Down star, Sorcha McCartan has been a wonderful addition.
Cork are in pursuit of a 29th title from what is a landmark 50th appearance in the final. If Kilkenny were to prevail it would be a 15th success from 25. So even in terms of strike rate, there is nothing between the teams. Don’t expect a lot to separate them at the final whistle either.
CORK: A Lee (C), M Murphy, L Coppinger, M Cahalane, L Hayes, L Treacy, S McCarthy, H Looney, A Thompson, K Mackey, F Keating, C Sigerson, C Healy, S McCartan, A O'Connor. Subs: M Lynch, E Murphy, C O’Sullivan, O McAllen, K Wall, K O’Mahony, I O’Regan, O Cahalane, A Egan, M Ring, A Hurley, A Smith, E Flanagan, A O’Neill, H O’Leary
KILKENNY: (Senior v Cork): A Norris, M Teehan, G Walsh, T Fitzgerald, N Deely, C Phelan, L Murphy, S Fitzgerald, K Power, D Gaule, M Kenneally, J Malone, M O’Connell, M Walsh, K Nolan. Subs: E Kavanagh, A Prendergast (C), M Bambrick, S Dwyer, C Phelan, A McHardy, S Crowley, L Fennelly, S O’Keeffe, A Curtis, R Breen, C O’Keeffe, L Norris, C Comerford, M Corcoran
Inter county clash
Both second-string teams had to survive the most intense of semi-final examinations before booking their places in the intermediate final.
Cork had advanced directly as group winners to the last four so that might have been the expected outcome, but they had already lost to Derry in the round-robin phase and knew they would be up against it in the rematch with the Oak Leafers.
It wasn't looking good as they trailed by three points entering the closing stages of a cagey affair but Trevor Coleman’s charges reeled in the deficit with four straight points, with the equaliser and winner both coming in he fifth minute of injury time from the stick of former senior All-Ireland winner Joanne Casey.
Galway had a fairly serene progression through the group stages, when the likes of Tegan Canning, Laura Kelly, Cora Kenny and Niamh McInerney scored heavily, while the defensive unit, founded on the reliability and leadership of Ciara Donohue and Lisa Casserly bordered on impregnable.
It came as no surprise that Meath provided a thorough examination of the credentials of Cathal Murray’s unit at the penultimate hurdle but they showed plenty of character as well as squad depth to recover from the concession of a second-minute goal to chisel out a four-point success.
Kelly and McInerney came off the bench to make their mark, the former scoring a vital goal, while Katie Gilchrist and Olwen Rabbitte also raised green flags. Kelly finished with 1-3, having taken over free-taking duties as well when entering the fray. The goals conceded were Galway’s first of the campaign but they will have learned far more from surviving such a challenge than in less testing affairs up to this juncture.
It is the first meeting of the counties with the Jack McGrath Cup up for grabs since 2009, when Galway got over the line in a replay. The most recent of their three titles arrived in 2013, when they had two points to spare over Limerick, while Cork’s latest of four triumphs came in 2018 against Down. This is their first final appearance since, with Galway last in the decider in 2019, when Westmeath edged them out by two points.
Both squads have undergone quite a transition in the meantime and will have to do without the considerable experience and ability of key operators Finola Neville (Cork captain) and Tara Ruttledge (Galway) due to cruciate injuries but retain a sprinkling of experience to go with youthful potential, and obvious strengths in each sector. One suspects this may be in doubt right to the end.
CORK: (Inter v Galway): S Beausang, A Moloney, N O'Leary, G Hannon, J O’Leary, K Kilcommins, L O’Sullivan, L Callanan, R Harty (VC), J Casey, M Murphy, S Hutchinson, L Homan, H Ryan, C O’Callaghan. Subs: S Ahern, A O’Callaghan, K Hickey, R O’Shea, D Carrol, C Finn, Á Crowley, L Doyle, C Crowley, T McCarthy, L Mannix, K Falvey, C O’Leary, C Hurley, F Neville (C)
GALWAY: (Inter v Cork): F Ryan, C Starr, C Donohue, C Hickey, K Manning, L Casserly, K A Porter, A Hesnan, J Hughes, S Divilly, K Gilchrist, T Canning, O Rabbitte, N McPeake, L Loughnane. Subs: S Coleman, C Reidy, S Lyons, A Kelly, T Lawrence, A Donnellan, E Gilmore, L Kelly, C Kenny, N McInerney, G O’Neill, S Corcoran, C Farragher, E Dolphin, C Hanley
Not too many were expecting an appearance in the premier junior decider to be on the cards when Antrim decided to establish a second team.
Indeed there fears in some quarters that it would prove a deflating experience for the younger players in particular, if they were to suffer some chastening defeats. Those fears have long since been assuaged and after one of the most dramatic games of camogie we are likely to see this year, they are now a game away from gaining possession of the Kathleen Mills Cup for the third time in the county’s history.
In contrast to Antrim, Armagh began the season as favourites, having landed the spoils for the second time in 2020 and then losing only to a very strong Wexford unit by just three points last year. They cruised through the group stages, recording facile victories over Limerick, Down and Roscommon.
The fourth game was a completely different matter altogether though. Antrim, who were unbeaten from two games at that stage, welcomed the Orchard County girls to Dunloy and though they fell two points short in the end, the display confirmed the belief that they were real contenders.
After an easy victory over Limerick, Antrim then faced Clare, who had topped Group 2 and it took a Megan McGarry point in the second half of a second period of extra time to separate the sides. Armagh’s path was a little less arduous, though Cavan did give them a scare before a goal and three points from former Cork star Jenny Curry (née O’Leary) after her switch to full-forward broke the Breffni resistance.
Both sides possess talent capable of turning a game. Curry has proved a significant addition to the Armagh ranks, having had two children since retiring from the inter-county game after Cork’s All-Ireland senior success in 2014 when she scored a key goal. In the likes of Ciara and Leanne Donnelly, and mother-of-three Michelle McArdle, Armagh already possessed game-changing talent and with the wealth of experience they have built up in recent years, will be tough nuts to crack.
But Antrim are riding the crest of a wave and even having lost a couple of players to the seniors – which is their ultimate raison d’être – must know that they are not far away from what would be a famous victory in the county’s storied camogie history.
Dervla Cosgrove scored 1-9 when the teams last clashed and is a real goal threat as well as being good from placed balls, having also bulged the net against Clare. Emma Laverty and Bríd Magill are others they will look to, to keep the scoreboard moving. It promises to be enthralling.
ARMAGH: C Devlin, M Lenehan, N Woods, E O'Kane, G McCann (JC), E Hayes, T Maguire, M McArdle (JC), L Donnelly, J Curry, E McKee, C Hill, R Merry, C Donnelly, S Quinn. Subs: B Murray, C O’Kane, C Doyle, E Lavery, O Curry, E Smyth, K Comiskey, C Beagan, C Murray, A McKearney, E Duncan, E Mone, M Callaghan, N Forker, A Forker
ANTRIM: A Grahan, M McLarnon (JC), E Kearns, E McShane, C Crawford, M McGarry, S Cosgrove, C Kearney, E Laverty (JC), T O’Neill, Bríd Magill, C McNaughton, D Cosgrove, E Leech, A McNeill. Subs: O Laverty, F Kelly, C Heggarty, L McConville, E Traynor, N Devlin, Brónach Magill, B Abram
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