Thirteen games down for decision in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Camogie Championship this weekend and it will be unlucky for some as the Junior A championship hits the penultimate stage.
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship
Cork V Galway
If Dublin V Wexford goes the way of the formbook then both of these teams will advance to the quarter –finals regardless of the result here in Pairc Ui Rinn. Where the game takes significance is in deciding the quarter-final pairings. The winner here is likely to have the easier game against stuttering Offaly while the losers will have to take on a Clare side who are starting to hit form. With both sides having similar results in the early rounds this is hard to call but I think Cork haven’t really hit form this year and Tony Ward’s side will just edge it.
Dublin V Wexford
Wexford visit Parnell Park knowing that a win will seal top spot in the group and a place in the semi-final and it’s hard to see many people’s favourites for the championship having any problems here. A small bit fortunate to take Galway in round 1 they were fully in control against Cork and won’t have any problems here.
Clare V Tipperary
It would take a freak set of results for Colm Honans charges not to make the next round while Eoin Kennedys Tipperary have nothing to play for at the tail end of a difficult year. The Tipperary girls have shown signs of improvement of late but it is always difficult for a team with nothing to play for to get over the line against a team with everything at stake.
Kilkenny V Derry
Derry can still qualify but face a huge task against Kilkenny, a side whose strength is evident in their second teams progression in the intermediate championship also. Derry are having a decent season but I expect this trip to Clara to be one too far for the most improved side in the senior grade.
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Championship
Tipperary V Antrim
This is a dead rubber between a thrown together young team and a club side. Very difficult to call. Tipperary probably have too much strength to lose to a club team. Kudos to Loughiel Shamrocks for keeping the flag flying in a turbulent year for the county.
Kildare V Galway
This is a huge game in Newbridge. Both teams can still qualify for the semi-final and it would be a huge achievement for both for different reasons. Newly promoted Kildare can continue their progression with a win and Galway, last years champions ,can seal their semi-final spot against the odds without any of the 2013 winning team.
I think Kildare will just edge it, and should go on to beat Antrim to make the semi-final.
Meath V Kilkenny
Meaths championship hopes ended last weekend in Cork and thus they have nothing to play for here. Anything except a 10 point loss would see Kilkenny top this group and with the Cats in great form recently this is very very unlikely.
Wexford V Cork
A disappointing championship for both teams. There was a lot of expectation in Cork about this team early in the year especially after they took the Division 2 league crown. They would have targeted the first game against Kilkenny and just came up short and failed to fire after. Nothing to play for here, if Cork bring anywhere near a full side they will win comfortably.
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship
Westmeath V Roscommon
This game is essentially a quarter-final with the winners almost certainly making the semi-final line up although the prospect of facing one of Dublin, Laois or Down won’t be too appetising for either side. Championship form is hard to come by here, Roscommon’s only win against an Armagh side who conceded the points to Westmeath last time out in their only ‘win’ to date. Westmeath edged a tight league encounter by four points in March and I feel their league winning experience will see them over the line here too.
Down V Dublin
Never a dull moment for Down camogie fans at the moment as the big games keep on coming. Beaten by the smallest of margins against Laois last time out they need the win here to avoid the harder semi-final. As for Dublin they have been the form side so far. Just up from Junior A they have continued that momentum and have been very impressive in their opening games. A win here all but guarantees top spot and the easier semi-final but the long trip to the Ards peninsula is never easy and the partisan home crowd and long journey might just count against them. I’m going for Down in another cracker and just like last week this pairing could very easily be the final pairing in September also.
Armagh V Laois
At the time of writing I don’t know if Armagh intend to fulfil this fixture. Whether they do or not the points are only going one way.
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Junior A Championship
Carlow V Offaly
Carlow come into this game unbeaten with good wins against Dublin and Kerry under the belt. Offaly struggled in their defeat to Limerick but regrouped well to put Meath to the sword in the final round. The winning momentum will stand to Carlow and the fact that they have a league campaign behind them which Offaly don’t, albeit they finished Division 3 without a win. This will be a low scoring game but Carlow should be too strong and I expect the 2012 Junior B champions to make it two finals in three years.
Limerick V Kerry
Familiarity breeds contempt and there will be no love lost on Sunday as these local rivals meet for the fourth time this year. It stands at one win each and a draw but the Limerick win came in the replayed division 4 league final, a game which Kerry should have wrapped up the first day, and this will serve as huge motivation for the Kingdom. With the game being played twenty miles from the Kerry Limerick border you can expect a fine crowd at this game and the league winning experience should stand to the locals who will advance by the tightest of margins.