Sarsfields and Athenry bid for double at Croke Park

The rescheduled All-Ireland camogie club finals are down for decision on Sunday with the two Galway clubs hoping to secure a rare double in Croke Park.

Michael McGrath’s Sarsfields take on current champions Slaughtneil (Derry ) in the senior final at 3.30pm, preceded by the All-Ireland Intermediate club final when Katherine Duane's Athenry squad face off against Johnstownbridge (Kildare ) at 1.30pm.

The senior final is a repeat of last year's All-Ireland final which Derry and Ulster champions Slaughtneil won by two points on a scoreline of 1-10 to 0-11 against an underperforming Sarsfields outfit.

Sarsfields have bounced back in impressive fashion, and produced a real power display when defeating Mullagh in the Galway county final.

They did just enough to see off Burgess-Duharra (Tipperary ) by one point in the All-Ireland semi-final, and that close game should stand to them this weekend.

Sarsfields will be looking for big displays from team captain Orla McGrath, her sisters Niamh, Siobhán and centre-back Clodagh, along with Mairead Cooney, Laura Ward, Tara Kenny, Sarah Spellman and underage star Rachel Murray, who hit the winner in their semi-final victory.

Slaughneil is a serious club which defeated Kilkenny’s Thomastown in the semi-final. They are powered by Clare McGrath, the Cassidy sisters, Éilis, Aoife and Brona, Lauren Dougen and Shannon Graham, who is a top player.

Sarsfields never fully got going in last year's final and that is something that team manager and former Galway star from the 1980s Michael "Hopper" McGrath plans changing this weekend.

"We have had a lot of tight matches this year and we are delighted to be back in a final again and we will have another go at it. In the county semi-final against St Thomas we were four or five down at one stage, but we just dug it out, and that attitude and spirit will be needed on Sunday too.

"Hopefully we have learnt from last year's final and improved a bit from then. We are ready to give it a right go this Sunday. Our girls are a year older and hopefully they are a bit more mature and more aware of what needs to be done at big moments in tight games.

"If we play as we know we can, then we have a right chance. With Athenry up there for their final, we will have good Galway support on the day and with a bit of luck we might get two Galway wins. "

Athenry experienced

Athenry beat Mountbellew/Moylough in the Galway county final and they are are still back-boned by some high quality players that won four Galway club senior titles from 2006 and 2009.

On Sunday they will be looking for leadership from Therese Maher, Regina Glynn and Jessica Gill. Other top quality players in action on Sunday club will be Noreen Coen, Dervla Higgins and team captain Lorna Hannon. With a few experienced players supported by some new and exciting talent, they are fancied in most quarters to have too much power for the Kildare champions. Athenry were impressive in their All-Ireland semi-final victory over Waterford's Lismore, and if they can reproduce that form, they should start the day with a Galway success.


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