This year's All-Ireland senior ladies final features a role reversal between the two teams.

Cork, the side who claimed 11 of the last 13 All-Ireland titles, are going into this tie as underdogs against the reigning champions Dublin who have just two All-Ireland titles in their cabinet.

Additionally, they were the losing side in four of those All-Ireland victories for Cork in 2009, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

There is a history between these counties but it's not shared between these current panels to the same extent.

Granted, seasoned Dublin players like Sinéad Goldrick, Sinéad Aherne, Sinéad Finnegan Lyndsey Davey and Siobhán McGrath can recall the heartache they suffered against Cork teams in recent All-Ireland finals. But not everyone in the panel can relate to that experience. 

A devastated Sinéad Goldrick after the 2016 All-Ireland final.

That sense of unfamiliarity is even more profoundly felt in the Cork team with just seven survivors of the 2016 All-Ireland winning team lining out in this year's final. Martina O'Brien, Róisín Phelan, Shauna Kelly, Áine O'Sullivan, Ciara O'Sullivan, Doireann O'Sullivan and Orla Finn all know what it's like to defeat Dublin in a final. They have also never lost a senior All-Ireland final in a Cork jersey.

They have lost some experienced players who were instrumental to those 11 All-Ireland titles but Ephie Fitzgerald's side has been adapting to those loses for the last two years.

In any case, they will bringing a rather inexperienced team to Croke Park this weekend. And since they didn't contest last year's All-Ireland for the first time since 2010, many members of the panel have never played in a senior All-Ireland final.

Dublin appear to be in a better position to succeed in this All-Ireland final and retain their title. They have evolved since winning the Brendan Martin Cup last year, which is always a tricky prospect for title-winning sides heading into the next season as champions.

But Dublin have certainly pushed on in 2018, winning their first ever Division 1 National League title earlier this year with convincing win over Mayo in May.

Dublin celebrating their 

The Leinster championship has rarely presented any major challenges for the Sky Blues and this year was another routine win for Dublin after they played a straight final against Westmeath and came away with a 12-point win. It was Dublin's seventh Leinster title-in-a-row.

The All-Ireland group stage of their campaign brought further winning progress for Bohan's side as they topped Group 4 with wins over Mayo and Cavan before an All-Ireland quarter-final victory over Kerry sent them through to the last four where they met Galway.

The Tribeswomen looked poised to give Dublin a stiff challenge in that game. They inflicted a two-point defeat on Dublin in Division 1 before the sides met again in the National League semi-final where a late Nicole Owens goal was required to put Dublin into the decider.

But those tight contests didn't have much of an impact on their All-Ireland semi-final meeting as Dublin blitzed their opponents from the West to score a 4-08 1-10 victory.

Cork ladies celebrate their All-Ireland semi-final victory over Donegal.

By contrast, Cork didn't get their year off to the best start when their bid for six National League titles in-a-row was dashed at the semi-final stage by Mayo.

From there they picked things up by regaining the Munster title with a comprehensive victory over Kerry.

Similar to Dublin, the group stages of the All-Ireland championship were successful for Cork as they came out on top in Group 2 ahead of Armagh and Monaghan.

They comfortably overcame Westmeath in the quarter-finals and Donegal awaited them in the semis.

The Ulster side pushed the Rebels all the way in that tie with goals from Orla Finn and Saoirse Noonan proving the difference after a tough battle in Dr Hyde Park.

That will give them considerable momentum heading into the All-Ireland final at Croke Park on Sunday but it will take a huge effort to dethrone an in-form Dublin side.



1/07/2018 - Leinster Final : Dublin 5-11 Westmeath 2-08

21/07/2018 - Group 4 : Dublin 5-17 Cavan 2-13

28/07/2018 - Group 4 : Dublin 3-11 Mayo 1-8

12/08/2018 - All-Ireland quarter-final: Dublin 3-19 Kerry 1-07

25/08/2018 - All-Ireland semi-final: Dublin 4-08 Galway 1-10


23/06/2018 - Munster Final: Cork 5-13 Kerry 2-10

21/07/2018 - Group 2: Cork 7-07 Monaghan 1-09

28/07/2018 - Group 2: Cork 1-19 Armagh 1-07

6/08/2018 - All-Ireland quarter-final: Cork 8-18 Westmeath 1-06

25/08/2018 - All-Ireland semi-final: Cork 2-11 Donegal 0-11

Follow the All-Ireland Ladies SFC final with our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the News Now App, listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport and watch highlights on the Sunday Game at 9.30pm on RTÉ2