Gala All Ireland Junior Camogie Championship Final – Waterford v Offaly

Joachim Kelly’s Offaly are bringing the New Ireland Cup to the midlands following their 3-14 to 2-8 victory of first time appearing Waterford. A comprehensive performance from the Faithful county saw them lead at the interval 1-11 to 0-4 and when Siobhan Flannery and Arlene Watkins netted on 46 and 49 minutes the game was up for the Deise.

Credit to Waterford who never gave up and a much improved second half when they shot goals from Patricia Jackman and Aine Lyng will give them hope for the future.

Team News

In the Gala All Ireland junior final (12.45pm) last season’s defeated finalists, Offaly line out as they did against Meath in the All Ireland semi-final. Waterford show one alteration from their penultimate victory over Laois with Áine Breathnach securing her starting place at the expense of Jenny Simpson.

Offaly: A Kennedy; K Brady, L Keena, F Stephens; L Sullivan, M Crean (Capt), S Sullivan; K Nugent, M Morkan; A Kelly, T Hannon, M Davis; S Flannery, E Darmody, A Watkins.

Waterford: A O’Brien; V Gaffney, S O’Grady (Capt), K M Hearne; G Kenneally, M O’Donnell, S Kiernan; M Murphy, C Raher; S Curran, Á Lyng, N Morrissey; P Jackman, K Kelly, Á Breathnach

Match Preview

This junior decider promises to be a cracking contest. Offaly, after being sensationally denied by a last minute goal 12 months ago are back to complete the job. They look good again, but they will be conscious that their only defeat this year came at the hands of Waterford.

The Déise are in Croke Park for the first time, and will travel full of confidence. They lost out to the Faithful County at the penultimate stage last year, so too, they will be keen to atone.

Verdict: Offaly

Match Preview

Offaly’s ‘chicks with sticks’ aiming for All Ireland Camogie glory

By Alan Walsh for the Offaly Express newspaper

OFFALY’S chicks with sticks, managed by 1980′s All Star winner Joachim Kelly, will be hoping to create history this Sunday as they make the journey to Croke Park to face Waterford in an eagerly awaited Gala All-Ireland Junior Camogie Championship Final. Offaly have appeared in two previous finals, against Tipperary in 2001 and Clare last year, but were unsuccessful on both occasions. Last year Offaly defeated Waterford at the semi-final and they also defeated the Déise girls in the ’08 All-Ireland Minor ‘B’ title showdown. The counties did meet earlier this year in the group stage of the championship with Waterford, managed by Tipperary native Andy Maloney, taking the spoils on that occasion and a huge effort will be required from Offaly if they are to get their hands on the New Ireland Cup.

Offaly supremo Joachim Kelly told ‘Express Sport’; “Losing last year against Clare was bitterly disappointing for both management and players. It was our aim to get back to the final. “We had the game almost wrapped up with a minute to go and next thing the whole thing fell asunder. Sport is cruel but we have another opportunity to redeem ourselves and hopefully we’ll be able to do it.” The Offaly versus Waterford showdown, which has a 12.45pm throw-in will be televised live, and it is part of an attractive triple bill at GAA headquarters. Kilkenny and Cork square up to each other in the Gala All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final at 2.45pm and this will be followed by the Bord Gáis All-Ireland U-21 Hurling Championship Final at 4.30pm between Kilkenny and Clare.

Admission prices are: Adults n30, Students/OAP €10, Juvenile n5. Group passes (for Cusack Stand only, n5 per child and 1 adult per 10 Juveniles free of charge) are available (see www.camogie.ie). Tickets can be purchased from the GAA Ticket Office – Phone: 01 8717400 or on-line: http://tickets.gaa.ie. There will be three selling points around Croke Park on Sunday from 10am – GAA Ticket Shop at 53A Dorset St Lower, GAA Ticket Shop on North Circular Road – opposite Gill’s Pub and GAA Ticket Outlet at junction of Ballybough Road and Clonliffe Road. Speaking at a pre-final reception in the County Arms Hotel, Joe O’Brien, on behalf of Offaly GAA, wished the players and management every success in the final.

All-Ireland Final Referee confirmed

Pat Walsh is the man in the middle for the junior final between Offaly (last season’s beaten finalists) and Waterford who are appearing in their first decider. Pat, who is a supervisor with Quinn Brothers Construction Company, is a native of Cappawhite in County Tipperary but now lives in Portadown. He played senior hurling with Killeady in Armagh. He also spent some time in London where he hurled with Glen Rovers. Pat refereed the 2008 Nancy Murray Cup final and numerous county championship finals.

Pat’s umpires are Michael McNabb, Vincie McErlean, Malachy McToal and Derek McNabb. The line umpires are Alan Lagrue (standby referee) and John O’Leary, while Julie O’Neill and Owen Elliott are the fourth and fifth officials.

Following the announcement Camogie Association President Joan O’Flynn said,

“Congratulations to Una Kearney and Pat Walsh on the achievement of being selected as referees for this year’s Gala All Ireland senior and junior camogie championships finals in Croke Park. Refereeing is a vital part of our sport and in any game the referee’s performance is as important as the players. For any referee, the opportunity to be in charge of the whistle on All Ireland Final day is a career highlight. That it should fall to two Armagh referees is a unique coincidence.

“Camogie All Ireland Final Day showcases the skill, speed and athleticism of our sport. I am looking forward to two very competitiveness finals with Kilkenny hoping to spoil Cork’s party in the senior final and Waterford looking to deny Offaly the silverware in their first ever trip to Croke Park. The club and family base of camogie, as part of the Gaelic Games community, will also be much in evidence. I am delighted that this year the All Ireland programme will again unite the camogie and hurling families. Kilkenny in particular will have an interest in the Gala senior camogie and the Bord Gáis U21 hurling finals.”

The junior camogie final is at 12.45pm, senior camogie final at 2.45pm while the U21 hurling final takes place at 4.30pm.