Weekend Preview’s – Senior’s entertain Derry, Intermediates make trip to Down while Minors entertain Tipperary.
by PRO on the 16th of February 2016
The Kilkenny camogie inter-county season begins with a bang this weekend with three teams in action on Sunday. The Kilkenny senior side will begin their Irish Daily Star Division one title challenge when they entertain Derry in Conahy on Sunday, while the Kilkenny Intermediate side will make the long trek to Down on Sunday to take on the Mourne County in Division 2 of the Irish Daily star league. While also on Sunday afternoon the Kilkenny minor side begin there All Ireland title defence when they entertain last years All Ireland Finalist Tipperary.
Irish Daily Star National League Division 1 Group 2
Kilkenny vs Derry
Venue: Conahy Shamrocks Gaa Grounds 2pm Referee: Owen Elliott (Antrim)
The Kilkenny senior team will begin their bid to regain the league title for the first time since 2014 when they take on Derry in Conahy on Sunday.
Under the stewardship of the new management team of Ann Downey, Paddy Mullally and Connor Phelan, the main aim will be to build a team for the All Ireland Championship campaign that will begin in June. Kilkenny will be short a number of players from last year some due to personal and work commitments and also will be without the injured duo of Katie Power and Shelly Farrell.
The teams met twice last season with Kilkenny enjoying a double over the Oakleaf County with Kilkenny putting up some impressive score lines.
Derry are a team making great strides at senior level and Kilkenny will need to keep an eye Karen Kelt who is clinical from frees and from open play.
In saying this it is very hard to see anything but a Kilkenny victory on Sunday and the first two points should be secured with a bit to spare.
Irish Daily Star National League Division 2 Group 2
Down vs Kilkenny
Venue: Pairc Esler, Newry, Co. Down 12pm Referee: Jenny Byrne (Dublin)
The Kilkenny Intermediate team will begin their campaign with the long trek to Down to take on the home side.
The Intermediate side enjoyed a good league campaign in 2015 and were very unlucky not to reach the final only for a late goal in the closing stages of extra time to Laois in the semi final.
Similar to the senior side the management team of Mike Wall, Ger Walsh, Sally Teehan and Aoife Lanigan, will be using the league to build a team for the All Ireland championship in June. The side will be aided this season with members of the victorious All Ireland wining minor team and also players from the victorious Tullaroan and Carrickshock teams that secured the intermediate and junior county titles in 2015.
The 2014 Premier Junior Champions will provide a stern test for Kilkenny on Sunday with Kilkenny having to keep an eye on Niamh Mallon and Catherine McGourty who can cause a headache for any defence.
In saying this Kilkenny are a very strong outfit with a good blend of youth and experience and may have too much for the Mourne side on Sunday.
All Ireland Minor A Camogie Championship Group 1
Kilkenny vs Tipperary
Venue:Piltown Gaa Club 2pm Referee: Karl O Brien (Dublin)
The Kilkenny minor team will begin their All Ireland title defence with a showdown with last year’s finalists Tipperary in a repeat of that epic final.
Kilkenny under the stewardship of new manager Seamus Kelly will be aiming to begin the campaign with an opening round win. This year’s side will see a good blend of youth and experience players with many of last year’s side moving up to the senior and intermediate ranks.
Kilkenny had a good record against Tipperary last season recording wins in the group stages and also in the final a month later.
This game has all the hallmarks of being a cracker, and one that could possibly go down to the wire. I feel home advantage could be the difference between the side with Kilkenny getting there title defence off to a good start.
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