For Galway, the All-Ireland camogie championship offers an early opportunity to try and turn the tables on Kilkenny.

Last December's All-Ireland final went the way of the Cats and last month so did the league trophy as Kilkenny made up for losing the 2019 championship and league deciders to the Tribeswomen.

However, the 2021 edition has both powerhouses drawn into same group alongside Westmeath and Clare.

Galway take on Westmeath in Athenry this Saturday in the Group 3 opener, before facing Clare the following week. And then Kilkenny await on the last weekend of July for an early renewal of the rivalry that has dominated camogie for the last couple of years on the big days.

"We know each other inside out at this stage," Galway forward Ailish O'Reilly tells RTÉ Sport at the launch of the All-Ireland Camogie Championship.

"We've been playing each other so much but at the end of the day we want to be playing at the top and we want to be playing the top teams.

"We'll have to beat whatever's in front of us in order to get what we want. So we look forward to the challenges. We look forward to Westmeath and Clare as well and see what it brings."

The margins of defeat against Kilkenny in the last two finals have been narrow and O'Reilly admits Galway were "bitterly disappointed" to lose out in the league decider after having the better of things in the first half.

"We've another crack at them in the group stage and we can't be having any more ifs and buts," she adds.

"It's the last two times now and hopefully we can learn from it is the main thing and drive on now."

And one key area Galway will hope to improve on is their conversion rate from goal chances having spurned opportunities against Kilkenny last time out.

O'Reilly in action against Meighan Farrell of Kilkenny

"I genuinely think we have four or five genuine goal chances," says O'Reilly, who knows a thing or two about scoring goals on the big occasion, adding that it was the final pass that which killed off a couple of those openings.

"We could have had three or four goals by half-time but unfortunately Kilkenny punished us with an absolute rasper with the one chance that they got.

"At the end of the day, goals win games and hopefully we can start to take them a little bit better."

Westmeath will also provide tricky opposition on Saturday and although Galway will go into the game as favourites, O'Reilly is taking nothing for granted and feels they need to build momentum immediately.

"We know well what they're capable of and we saw with a couple of the hurling games you can never underestimate anybody to be honest," says the 27-year-old schoolteacher.

"It's our first game in championship and we need to give it a good crack regardless of the opposition. We can only play what's in front of us."

O'Reilly's team-mate Emma Helebert recently suggested that Galway didn't quite click into gear last year despite reaching the All-Ireland final and it's a view she concurs with although both feel that they are in a better place as a panel this year.

"After winning it in 2019, we were at a certain level and everyone else upped it," says O'Reilly.

"We struggled to click but we still got to an All-Ireland final (in 2020) and we were still only a throw of the dice away.

"Things are going good this year. We've new players in and hopefully we can drive on together."

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Follow all the championship matches this weekend with our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app.

Watch Kerry v Westmeath and Dublin v Kilkenny live on RTÉ2 or RTÉ Player from 4.45pm Saturday, and Donegal v Tyrone followed by Tipperary v Limerick, live on RTÉ2 or RTÉ Player from 1.15pm Sunday.

Watch highlights of all the weekend's action on The Sunday Game at 9.30pm on RTÉ One.

Listen to live and exclusive national radio commentaries on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday and Sunday Sport.