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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019

Cork and Galway name starting XVs for Division 1 league decider

Throw-in at Parnell Park is at 4pm on Sunday.

Will it be a 12th Division 1 title for Cork - or a first for Galway?
Will it be a 12th Division 1 title for Cork - or a first for Galway?

WILL IT BE a 12th title for Cork – or a maiden crown for Galway?

That question will be answered from 4pm on Sunday when the counties lock horns in the 2019 Lidl National League Division 1 Final.

Cork’s record in this competition has been one of incredible consistency since the Rebels won the first of their 11 titles to date in 2005.

They completed back-to-back wins the following year, added four-in-a-row from 2008-2011, and five-in-a-row from 2013-2017.

This new team being moulded by Ephie Fitzgerald recovered from a slow start in this year’s campaign, with two defeats in their opening three games, to reach the Final.

The group campaign concluded with a notable victory over Dublin, before Cork defeated Mick Bohan’s 2018 NFL champions and All-Ireland holders in a classic recent semi-final, that required extra-time at Nowlan Park.

Those wins will have come as a major psychological boost for Cork, who lost out to Dublin in the 2018 All-Ireland decider.

Opponents Galway suffered NFL and All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final defeats to Dublin last year, but they’re now in the hunt for a very first Division 1 League title.

Galway have been unlucky to finish as runners-up on five previous occasions in the Division 1 decider, most recently in 2015 when Cork won out after a replay at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise.

Galway’s form during the group stages was most impressive, as they won six out of seven games, including a victory over Cork.

The one blip was a loss to Dublin but Galway were on form in their recent semi-final against Donegal, and will come into this game full of confidence.

This should be a game to savour, between two teams who both possess plenty of attacking talent, while also being well-organised and difficult to break down.

Cork have made three changes in personnel following an extra-time epic semi-final victory over Dublin, with two of those in defence.

Eimear Meaney comes in for Melissa Duggan, while Daire Kiely replaces Shauna Kelly.

There’s an enforced change in attack, with Áine O’Sullivan ruled out through suspension following the red card she picked up against Dublin.

Her replacement is former underage star Sadhbh O’Leary at corner forward, while Fitzgerald has kept captain Doireann O’Sullivan in reserve, as she continues to nurse a back injury.

Galway have named Leanne Coen in attack, and she replaces Sarah Conneally in the only change in personnel from the semi-final victory over Donegal.

Cork: M O’Brien (capt.); C O’Shea, H Looney, E Meaney; D Kiely, A Hutchings, E Kiely; M O’Callaghan, N Cotter; O Farmer, C O’Sullivan, L O’Mahony; L Coppinger, O Finn, S O’Leary.
Galway: L Murphy; S Molloy, S Lynch, F Cooney; O Murphy, S Burke, C Cooney; L Ward, B Hannon; O Divilly, T Leonard (capt.), M Glynn; L Coen, R Leonard, M Seoighe.

Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Andy Dunne to discuss all the week’s rugby news.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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