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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Photojoiner/Inpho The All-Ireland final is on August 7th.
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Hunt for O'Duffy Cup: The four teams left bidding for All-Ireland camogie glory
The All-Ireland finalists will be decided at a Croke Park double-header.

THE CLIMB TO the top of the mountain hits the penultimate stage this weekend as Croke Park hosts an All-Ireland camogie semi-final double-header.

Defending champions Galway take on old foes Kilkenny while last year’s finalists Cork do battle with Waterford, who have reached the last four of the senior championship for the first time.

Cork and Galway have progressed to this point as group winners from the All-Ireland series which concluded at the start of this month. Kilkenny and Waterford emerged as the victors from the quarter-finals which took place in Semple Stadium last weekend. 

After a one-week turnaround, both sides are in action in another double-header event after dispatching Limerick and Dublin from the championship. Camogie’s top three teams are still in the hunt for the O’Duffy Cup as newcomers Waterford look to break new ground in the top-tier competition. 

  • Cork v Waterford, Croke Park, 3.15pm – Live on RTÉ 2
  • Galway v Kilkenny, Croke Park, 5.30pm – Live on RTÉ 2

Galway

sarah-dervan-and-carrie-dolan-celebrate James Crombie / INPHO Galway after winning the 2021 All-Ireland final. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

The champions are back in Croke Park again after an unbeaten run in the group stage. They got their campaign off the mark with a comfortable win over Limerick before accounting for Offaly Down and Antrim to add to their winning momentum. The Tribeswomen were joined by Kilkenny in Group 2 and the sides faced off in their final group outing. The sides couldn’t be separated on the day in Athenry, but a superior scoring difference sent Cathal Murray’s side straight through to the semi-finals. Facing Kilkenny again for another intriguing chapter of their rivalry, Galway are aiming to complete an All-Ireland back-to-back and collect their third All-Ireland title in four years.

Kilkenny

brian-dowling-during-the-game Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Kilkenny manager Brian Dowling. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

A good run out in Semple Stadium assured Kilkenny of a place in the All-Ireland semi-finals after a 16-point win over Dublin last weekend. They were slow to emerge from the traps though. Dublin took an early lead after a goal from Niamh Gannon in the 12th minute which left Kilkenny trailing by four points. They reacted quickly to the scare and reeled off 1-11 without response to rapidly take control of the tie. Brian Dowling’s sustained the press right throughout the tie to secure their place in Croke Park this weekend.

Cork

orla-cronin-and-laura-treacy-dejected-after-the-game Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Cork's Orla Cronin and Laura Treacy after last year's All-Ireland final. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Cork were the other automatic qualifier for the semi-finals, coming out of Group 1 as winners despite losing their final game to Tipperary. Their big concern this week is the availability of experienced midfielder Ashling Thompson. The Milford star was given a red card after that defeat to Tipperary, and has been handed a two-match suspension. That rules her out of this weekend’s action as well as the All-Ireland final should Cork prevail against the Déise. Cork are appealing the decision but her absence could be a major factor if the ruling is upheld.

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Waterford

This is a milestone weekend for Waterford. After four consecutive defeats at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage, they finally succeeded at the fifth attempt to reach their first- All-Ireland senior semi-final since 1959. Their meeting with Limerick was the opening quarter-final act at Semple Stadium last weekend, and Waterford were full value for their victory. Midfielder Lorraine Bray was immense throughout, while Abby Flynn Beth Carton and Niamh Rockett devastated the Limerick defence.

It would be an insult to call this bonus territory for Derek Lyons’ side. Breaking their losing streak at the quarter-final stage will bring massive relief to the squad, and that momentum could be decisive when coming up against an experienced Cork outfit to reach their first All-Ireland final since 1945.

An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Waterford have reached their first-ever All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final.

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