Unbeaten Sarsfields prepare for onslaught from Loughgeil

AIB All Ireland Club Senior Final

Sarsfields will look to make in back-to-back All Ireland Senior Club Camogie titles on Saturday when they take on Loughgeil Shamrocks from Antrim at 6.30pm in Croke Park.

Sarsfields, who have remained unbeaten since their last All Ireland victory in March. will be keen to add their third All Ireland title to their medal tally on Saturday.

It is well known at this stage that Sarsfields have had their injury concerns throughout this year's campaign. Maria Cooney, Clodagh McGrath and Shannon Corcoran were all carrying knocks heading into their semi-final victory over St Vincent’s, but all returned to the field of play last Saturday. However, Galway senior camogie star Sarah Spellman did not start the semi-final due to an injury and she will be in a race to get fit for Saturday’s final, while Orlaith McGrath and Erica Leslie have long term injuries and are ruled out.

Sarsfields have experience and are well used to All Ireland Club finals day. Once again they will look for the perfect start which proved pivotal in their 1-11 to 1-10 victory over St Vincent’s last Saturday. However, they will want to improve, knowing this Loughgeil Shamrocks team boasts plenty of Antrim players who are no strangers to national success at intermediate and junior level.

The Sarsfields panel, however, boasts a serious amount of talent. Maria Cooney has proven to be the rock of the Sarsfields' defence throughout the year, winning the player of the game award in the semi-finals. Cooney, who has played the sweeper role in games throughout the year, has been a fantastic reader of the game and has blocked team’s attacks on the Sarsfields' defence.

In midfield Niamh McGrath has led with distinction. Playing both a defensive and attacking midfielder, she has set up plenty of the Sarsfields' attacks and has been accurate from placed balls. And up front they will be looking to Siobhan McGrath, who is no stranger to scoring the winning goals for both club and county. She was pivotal in Sarsfields' win over St Vincent’s in the semi-final. Sarsfields also have more key players, such as young guns Reitseal Kelly, Rachel Murray and Shannon Corcoran.

Loughgeil Shamrocks will be no push over. They have been second best to Slaughtneil since 2016, losing six Ulster camogie titles on the trot. However this season they overcame the three-times All Ireland Champions and the Ulster camogie champions.

Loughgeil have some serious camogie players with Antrim stars Roisin McCormack, Caitrin Dobbin and Amy Boyle, and the hurt the team has face in trying to prevail in Ulster has been a driving force behind this side.

As the song goes, To Win Just Once, may be what is driving Loughgeil Shamrocks this year, while Sarsfields have their own ambitions to win back-to-back All Ireland titles.

Sarsfields' experience in grinding out victories may prove pivotal on Saturday. A close game is expecteds, but Sarsfields may have enough experience both on the field and on the bench to seal their back to back titles.


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