Tuesday 22 January 2019

Rebel girls can sink Cats in final showdown



(Croke Park, Tomorrow, 4.0)

THE Cats haven't been on the roof-top since 1994. They beat Wexford that afternoon. Ann Downey climbed the steps of the Hogan Stand, writes Niall Scully.

The black and amber were at their peak in the mid '80s to the mid '90s. Ann's twin, Angela, was in her pomp.

They won seven O'Duffy Cups in succession from 1985 to 1991. Dublin's last title came in '84.

Cork have 24 All-Ireland triumphs. Victory tomorrow would bring them a step nearer to Dublin's record haul of 26.

Cork's last success arrived in 2009 when they overcame Kilkenny. The Leesiders had to endure a replay against Wexford in this season's semi-final.

The counties drew the first day in Thurles. Cork produced their best form of the season in the second half of the replay.

In the pool section, they accounted for Dublin and Galway, but lost to Wexford. Their form has risen since. They toppled Offaly in the quarter-final.

Kilkenny advanced straight to the semi-final following Group wins over Offaly, Tipperary, Clare and Derry. They defeated Galway in the semi-final.


Last September, it was Galway who beat the black and amber in the final. A memorable day for Therese Maher.

People are predicting a humdinger. The main event is part of an All-Ireland triple header at HQ which sees Down play Laois in the Premier Junior (noon) and Kilkenny face Limerick in the Intermediate (2.0).

Kilkenny have been champions 12 times. They have class personnel in Emma Kavanagh, Kate McDonald, Leann Fennelly, Elaine Aylward, Ann Dalton and Katie Power.

Jennifer O'Leary sums up Cork's conviction. She lives in Armagh. Their aces include Aoife Murray, Joanne O'Callaghan, Gemma O'Connor, Briege Corkery, Orla Cotter and Katriona Mackey.

Kilkenny are the league champs, but a repeat of their second-half performance against Wexford in that semi-final replay could do the trick for Cork.


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