SUNDAY: Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie League Division 1: Cork v Wexford, CIT, 2pm.
WITH Cork leading the Littlewoods National League Division 1 Group 1 table and Wexford trailing by three points after their defeat to Tipperary last Sunday, this weekend’s tie between the two is particularly crucial for Wexford, sitting in third place after Kilkenny.
If they don’t take the points they are effectively out of the chance of making the semi-finals.
Kilkenny play Waterford also on Sunday and are expected to come through that challenge. Should they do so then Cork and Kilkenny’s final game in the group, pitted against each other on April 1st, will just decide who sits first and second in the table. If Kilkenny lose to Waterford, then it could throw others a lifeline particularly if Cork then beat them but there’s a lot of doubtful ‘ifs’ there.
Wexford are not the team they were and don’t look like they’ll strengthen again anytime soon. Everyone will play them up, particularly Cork, as that’s what you do. But a one point victory over Waterford in round one and a loss to Tipperary last Sunday shows just where Wexford are in the pecking order. Yes, they had a surprise 2-11 to 0-9 win over Kilkenny in round two. But Kilkenny had just returned from a sun holiday on the back of their All Ireland success last September.
An injury time point by Kate Kelly denied Tipperary a championship semi-final spot last year. Last Sundays victory showed that wasn’t a fluke for the Premier County. Wexford were heavily reliant on Linda Bolger, who scored 10 points.
With home advantage and in good early season form, Cork should take their fourth win on the trot, provided they bring the same work rate to CIT that they have shown to date.
Orla Cotter is sure to sit out again to give a strain the time to heal. Libby Coppinger and Hannah Looney, on O’Connor cup duty with UCC last weekend, return. However, Cork’s intermediate squad also travel to Kildare so it will once again be a balancing act on resources for Paudie Murray as he endeavours to keep the division 2 squads’ unbeaten record intact.
In addition to the Cork v Wexford and Waterford v Kilkenny ties on Sunday, Tipperary travel to Dublin. Dublin has yet to take a point in the campaign.