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Monday 20 August 2018

Leacy lineage one more reason why Wexford can take Tribes

Wexford v Galway
(Croke Pk Tomorrow, 4.0 RTé2)

WEXFORD have won four All-Ireland Senior camogie titles. Margaret O'Leary played in three of them.



She won an All-Ireland Club crown with famed Dublin club Eoghan Ruadh back in 1967. Now, Mary and Una Leacy, Margaret's daughters, keep the family's camogie flame burning brightly.

When they last lifted the O'Duffy Cup in 2007, Mary and Una were on the side. They certainly have their mother's spirit. Wexford needed every drop of it last month as they got past Kilkenny in the semi-final before over 3,000 people in Nowlan Park.

It was a sweet victory. The Slaney girls tasted bitter defeat in the semi-final of the previous two years. Wexford beat the Cats by two goals. Kate Kelly hit 2-2 and Katrina Parrock got the other goal.

Galway's top-class 'keeper Susan Earner will be on the toes. Galway have only been champions once. That was in 1996. Dublin's Louise Curry played in goal for them on that occasion.

This season their Championship journey included a handsome win over Dublin in Portmarnock. Galway boss Noel Finn remarked after that match it was one puck at a time.

Now, they are an hour away from glory. Toppling Cork, who were chasing three-in-a-row, was a big confidence boost.

Galway had to endure a replay to do it. They'll have the benefit of two cracking matches in the hurls.

There was only a point between them in the replay. Galway have excellent defenders in Sandra Tannian and Regina Glynn.

Emma Kilkelly and Orla Kilkenny are a vaunted midfield duo, while in attack they have the polish of Breda Hanney, Veronica Curtin, Caroline Murray and the captain, Therese Maher.

It's Galway's first final since 2008. And the pairing gives a fresh look to the sport's biggest day.

Tipperary and Cork have been the dominant sides in the modern game. Then there was Kilkenny's surge of seven-in-a-row from 1985 to '91.

Pundits are expecting a close, compelling tussle with a harvest of rich skill. Wexford have pedigree in their forward division -- Fiona Kavanagh, Ursula Jacob and Parrock.

Their number one, Mags D'Arcy, is among the best in the business, while Catherine O'Loughlin is the master at clearing any stray leaves.

It should be a perfect climax to the Championship on what will be a busy day at HQ.

For the first time, the Camogie Association are staging three finals. The action begins at noon with the Premier Junior final between Antrim and Waterford before Wexford meet Offaly in the Intermediate final at 2pm.

And after all of that, the stage will be left to Galway and Wexford to go for gold. Dublin ref, Karl O'Brien, will keep the traffic flowing.

3VERDICT: Wexford

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