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Dublin: -3 °C Tuesday 20 March, 2018

Final four! Cork, Kilkenny, Galway and Limerick vying for league final spots

Three in-a-row chasing Kilkenny face Galway in one of Sunday’s semi-finals, while All-Ireland champions Cork meet Limerick.

THIS SUNDAY IS a busy one in the camogie calendar, with the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues Division 1 semi-finals down for decision.

Ashling Thompson, Shelly Farrell, Sarah Dervan and Sarah Carey Cork, Kilkenny, Galway and Limerick are vying for Division 1 final spots. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

With both fixtures set for 2pm, reigning two in-a-row champions Kilkenny face 2015 winners Galway in St Rynagh’s GAA Banagher, Co. Offaly. This clash is set for an exclusive livestream on the Littlewoods Ireland Facebook page.

The second of the two semi-finals sees 2017 All-Ireland senior champions Cork — who are unbeaten in their 2018 campaign to date — pitted against four in-a-row semi-finalists Limerick in a repeat of last year’s last four league tie.

Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) will play host to that game.

Off the back of September’s All-Ireland championship final defeat in Croke Park, Ann Downey’s charges prepare for battle with the Tribeswomen with a league three in-a-row on the cards.

Shelly Farrell insisted that that feat is to the back of their minds though, as she spoke to Cliona Foley at the launch of the semi-finals in Dublin yesterday.

“We’ve learnt so much from the losing the All-Ireland last year and have been trying out new things,” the Thomastown forward said.

“We really wouldn’t be thinking about (a league) three in-a-row at all. It’s great that we’re in a semi-final but it’s winning matches that’s most important because it builds confidence in the squad.

“To go one more step and make the final would really help get everyone’s confidence up again.”

Paudie Murray’s Rebels meanwhile are the only only unbeaten side among the semi-finalists, and after losing out to the Cats in last year’s decider, they’ll be hoping to make amends and get back in the showpiece.

Sarah Carey and Ashling Thompson Limerick's Sarah Carey and Cork's Ashling Thompson. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

First up is the challenge of Limerick on Sunday though, and Ashling Thompson insists that her side are in good spirits after a successful start to the year.

“We’ve stayed unbeaten and I think that’s really important for any team, to make winning a habit,” the two-time All-Star noted.

“Last year, after losing the (2016) All-Ireland final was the toughest year I’ve ever put in mentally. We never wanted to go out and do that to ourselves again, win or lose.

“We have started this year very well off the back of winning the All-Ireland final. It’s not really about winning or losing for us sometimes but producing the performance and it just feels like we’re a lot happier this year and a lot more focused in everything we’re doing.”

Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division 1 semi-finals 

Sunday 11 March

  • Kilkenny v Galway — 2pm, St Rynagh’s GAA, Banagher (live on Littlewoods Ireland Facebook page)
  • Cork v Limerick — 2pm, CIT

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