‘Boro set for Sarsfields test

Jane Cass will look to keep things tight in the full back line

Palmerstown club dreaming of All-Ireland glory



All-Ireland Senior Camogie Club Championship Final

Dicksboro vs Sarsfields

Sunday, Croke Park, 5:15pm

All pics courtesy of Inpho

Dicksboro camogs will make the journey to Dublin on Sunday, knowing that they are just 60 minutes from making more history for their club. Standing in their way will be 3-in-a-row seeking Galway side Sarsfields, who have retained a tight grip on the Bill & Agnes Carroll Cup and will be appearing in the camogie showpiece event for the fifth consecutive year.

Donal Carroll’s outfit have had a stellar season to date, winning both county and provincial honours, but will know that they will need a big performance to dethrone the current champions. Goal-scoring star of their semi-final win over Loughgiel, Asha McHardy will hope that the wide-open spaces of Croker will see her excel once again and trouble the Connacht team’s defensive unit. McHardy hit 2-1 in the impressive win over last year’s beaten finalists and secured the POTM award as her team advanced to Sunday’s decider.

Like with all big games, keeping the scoreboard ticking over is crucial, and that pressure lies with Aoife Prendergast, who will be on placed ball duty at headquarters. The former All-Ireland winning county captain notched 0-7 against their Antrim opponents in Ashbourne and will no doubt be relishing the opportunity to ply her trade at the iconic Jones’s Road venue this weekend. While Aoife is not the ‘Boro captain, you can count on her to lead in many ways and use her experience to benefit the team.

The ‘Boro have been used to contesting for county titles and secured this years with a comprehensive victory over first time finalists, Windgap. The Palmerstown ladies hit 3-18 in an impressive performance against Denise Gaule and Co., with the goals shared out between Asha McHardy, Jenny Clifford and Orla Hanrick. Aoife Prendergast was in good form in Mooncoin, hitting 0-8, while Amy Clifford and Rachel Dowling had decent scoring returns as they secured another county title with a fourth appearance in five years in the senior decider.

Having been crowed top dogs on Noreside, Dicksboro went in search of provincial glory and saw off a determined challenge from Wexford champions, St Martin’s at Palmerstown. Their tally of 1-10 came from top trio, Aoife Prendergast, Asha McHardy and captain, Jenny Clifford and this win sent Donal Carroll’s ladies to the Leinster final, where they faced Dublin’s finest and reigning champions, St Vincents. Despite starting that came slowly, the ‘Boro got their act together and struck seven scores on the bounce to take a lead that they would hold to the long whistle and secure a first ever provincial title for their club.

If Dicksboro can ensure a steady supply of ball into their forwards, they will certainly have a good chance of causing problems for the Sarsfields defence, and it’s in this department where you will find the Galway sides captain and one of their county stars, Laura Ward. The defensive lynchpin provides an experienced and calming presence for the Connacht kingpins and is well versed at hurling in Croke Park. The spine of Ward and Maria Cooney is a great strength for the westerners, but it is further forward that their greatest strengths lie.

Siobhan McGrath is a top-level performer for both club and county. The talented attacker’s goal against their Cork namesakes, was a thing of beauty, movement, pace and skill, delightful to watch and I’m sure the Dicksboro management team will be planning to try and limit McGrath’s influence on proceedings in Croker, but that will be easier said than done. Another of Sarsfields lively forwards is Klara Donoghue. Like McGrath, Klara seems to be in great form this season and also goaled in their semi-final win over the Cork and Munster champions.

Both sides go into Sunday’s decider with prior knowledge of each other, having played a challenge match before the championship began. Dicksboro prevailed that day, and all in Palmerstown will be hoping that that result will be repeated in Croke Park on Sunday.

The Kilkenny Observer wishes Dicksboro all the best for Sunday’s final. Bring it home ‘Boro!

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