The rivalry rumbles on.

For the third year in a row, Cork and Kilkenny will battle it out in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior final with everything at stake.

Kilkenny claimed round one of their All-Ireland final meetings in 2016 before Cork gained some revenge last September with a thrilling one-point victory at the death.

The sides met in the Division 1 league final earlier this year where Kilkenny survived a late fightback to win by the same slender margin to secure their third title running.

Unsurprisingly, both teams topped their groups during the championship with Kilkenny winning all of their games in Group 1 while Cork thrived in Group 2 and had one more game to play compared to the Cats.

Both sides go into their third consecutive All-Ireland final meeting with provincial success under their belts. Kilkenny edged out Offaly in Leinster while Cork scored a comprehensive win over Tipperary in the Munster final.

After coming through the group stages of the championship, Tipperary were paired with Cork while Kilkenny faced Galway in the last four.

For the second successive time, Cork overpowered Tipperary with a 12-point win against a young and emerging team from the Premier County.

A familiar face made an appearance in that tie at Semple Stadium as 17-time All-Ireland winner Briege Corkery came on in the 58th minute following an almost two-year break from inter-county service. 

Naturally, she didn't have much time to make any notable impact on proceedings, and the victory was already secured at that stage which makes it more difficult to predict whether she will play a bigger role in the All-Ireland final or if she will even start.

It seems an unlikely step for manager Paudie Murray to take but it's never easy to forecast his moves. Leading into last year's All-Ireland final regular centre-back Gemma O'Connor was apparently unavailable to play due to injury.

Paudie Murray.

Murray maintained that that was the case right up until the day of the game, but when throw-in commenced O'Connor took up her usual spot in the centre-back position.

In any case, Corkery's return will bolster the Rebels' challenge following the inter-county retirement of 2017 captain Rena Buckley.

Meanwhile, Kilkenny are still carrying scars from that All-Ireland defeat. Team captain Shelly Farrell says they have left 'no stone unturned' this year as they go in search of redemption against their old rivals.

Their All-Ireland semi-final against Galway was less straight-forward than Cork's win and they needed a goal from Katie Power in the 48th minute to navigate their way past Galway with just three points to spare.

That win will certainly give Ann Downey's charges some momentum coming into this final, but Cork are the defending champions and reclaiming the O'Duffy Cup will not be an easy task.

The teams were separated by the slimmest of margins last year courtesy of a late Julia White point and a similar outcome is expected to unfold as we gear up for the next chapter of this compelling rivalry.

Cork: Aoife Murray; Niamh O’Callaghan, Laura Treacy, Pamela Mackey; Libby Coppinger, Gemma O’Connor, Chloe Sigerson; Julia White, Ashling Thompson; Amy O’Connor, Orla Cronin, Orla Cotter; Katrina Mackey, Niamh McCarthy, Hannah Looney 

Kilkenny: Emma Kavanagh; Collette Dormer, Catherine Foley, Grace Walsh; Claire Phelan, Anne Dalton, Davina Tobin; Anna Farrell, Meighan Farrell; Julie Ann Malone, Katie Power, Denise Gaule, Shelly Farrell, Michelle Quilty, Miriam Walsh

Paths To The Final

Group 1 - Kilkenny

9/6/2018 Limerick 0-11 2-18 Kilkenny

30/06/2018 Waterford 0-10 1-13 Kilkenny

14/07/2018 Kilkenny 4-13 0-2 Clare

22/07/2018 Kilkenny 1-17 0-13 Galway


18/08/2018 Galway 1-7 1-10 Kilkenny

Group 2 - Cork

9/06/2018 Cork 1-19 0-7 Wexford

24/06/2018 Cork 4-15 2-3 Dublin

7/07/2018 Tipperary 1-12 1-27 Cork

14/07/2018 Meath 0-6 3-21 Cork

22/07/2018 Cork 6-18 3-4 Offaly


18/08/2018 Cork 0-21 0-9 Tipperary

Follow Kilkenny v Cork via our live blog on RTÉ.ie and the News Now App, watch live on RTÉ2's The Sunday Game from 1.30pm or listen to commentary on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport.