ROUND two of the Glen Dimplex Intermediate Championship and it’s a mouth-watering clash between old rivals Cork and Kilkenny in Páirc Uí Rinn.
Both sides got their championship campaigns off to a great start last weekend as they recorded victories in their opening game where Cork overpowered Wexford and Kilkenny had an excellent victory over Kildare where they hit an impressive 1-22 and conceded just 11 points.
Kilkenny were defeated in last season’s Intermediate All-Ireland final where they lost out to Antrim in an exciting contest, they are a very experienced side and their clash with Cork is eagerly awaited as going on form they look to be the two teams that will have a big say in this championship.
Their league form was good, they were runners-up in their group to Waterford and reached the quarter-finals where they lost out to Wexford 1-13 to 1-5 but you must remember that was Wexford’s first choice side who are now competing in the Senior All-Ireland Championship.
Cork ran the same Wexford team close losing out in the opening group game by five points with Cork later going on to reach the league semi-final where they lost out to Antrim by two points.
Kilkenny are under the management of John Scott and last weekend his side featured nine of the sides that lined out in the All-Ireland final last year against Antrim. Sinead Farrel, Roisin Phelan, Ciara Murphy and Sinead O’Keeffe form part of a strong defense while Hannah Scott, Laura Hegarty, Teresa Donnelly, Ciara O’Keeffe and Shauna Treacy featured prominently in attack against Kildare.
From the throw-in last week Cork controlled matters in Enniscorthy as they took on Wexford, they settled fast and were on the scoreboard quickly and had opened up a six-point lead before Wexford opened their account.
In defence Cork were very solid conceding just two points from play. Up front they hit an impressive 3-15 and while this will have pleased manager Trevor Coleman he will be under no illusions as to the challenge Kilkenny will bring to his charges.
He was in a position to make five changes during the game last Saturday and this will no doubt help keep the momentum going and the competitiveness for places on the starting 15 alive.
Cork have been hit with a string of injuries and will be forced into several changes.
Captain Finola Neville was forced off after just 24 minutes on Saturday last with a knee injury, Danielle Carroll who impressed through the league campaign continues to be out with an ankle injury and did not play any part last weekend whilst Aoife O’Callaghan is also an injury concern.
Cork have a strong bench as was shown last weekend with Rachel O’Shea notching up 1-1 on her introduction to the action in place of Neville.
They should have enough strength to get over the line but it will be tough as both sides will strive to maintain their spot at the top of the group heading into round three.