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Friday 15 December 2017

Dubs face daunting task against classy Cats

All-Ireland Camogie semi-final Dublin v Kilkenny (Today, Live RTÉ 2, 5.15 )

Dublin Camogie player Aisling Carolan. Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin Camogie player Aisling Carolan. Photo: Sportsfile

Dublin are the talk of the parish. Twenty-seven years waiting at the bus stop for an All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final ticket.

Their home win against Clare at Parnell's set the sliotar rolling. Former Dub, Denise O'Leary, went through the turnstiles. She smelt something cooking in the kitchen. The away win in Waterford secured Dublin's last-eight passage. There was an impressive spirit about them on that sun-blessed afternoon.

And they produced their finest display of all against Wexford in the quarter-final. The Blues live on the box. And back in the big-time.

The big Semple stage suited Dublin. And the Gaelic Grounds will as well.

Kilkenny have already enjoyed success there this term. They beat Cork to win the League.

They are a class outfit. Ann Downey has made them so. A born-winner. On her first day back in the job, she demanded excellence. She got it.

She is one of the legendary figures of the sport. Many say her twin, Angela, was the greatest of them all. Angela is among the ­back-room team. With another respected former player, Breda Holmes.

Kilkenny brought home the O'Duffy Cup for the first time in 22 years last September. And they don't look like a side that have loosened their grip since.

They have experience and quality all over - Colette Dormer, Anne Dalton, Katie Power and Michelle Quilty.

Dublin will have to be at their very best to trouble them. And that's what Kilkenny's All-Ireland-winning goalkeeper, David Herity, is planning for.

You don't sit in Brian Cody's dressing-room for a few years and leave with an empty notebook.

Dublin are fit. Their first touch has been sharpened. They have a youthful look, enhanced with experience.

Delivering a performance will top the agenda. Settling quickly. Getting the basics right. Getting on the ball.

Dublin 'keeper, Faye McCarthy, is having a cracking season. Her free-taking is a bonus. Dublin have a compact defence. Eimear McCarthy is thriving at midfield and there's polish on the sticks of Ali Twomey, Aisling Maher and Siobhan Kehoe.

The match has sparked a big interest in the capital. There's a convoy heading to Limerick. If Dublin get the result of all results, David Herity will walk across the Shannon. And the Liffey too.

VERDICT: Kilkenny

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