It was a big weekend for Camogie with Galway breaking the stranglehold that Cork and Kilkenny have had on the sport’s biggest day of the year, and the two semi-finals in the Liberty Insurance All Ireland Championship shown live and in full on RTÉ, highlighting the quality of the sport.
Yet again though we have to return to criticism of the Irish Times whose otherwise excellent sports supplement on Saturday carried a mere five paragraphs in previewing the games.
This compares to 89 paragraphs devoted to the English Premier League, all from the Guardian news service. That was also the same third-party source for the 13 paragraphs given over to the day’s play in the Ashes series cricket between England and Australia.
There is no question that these deserve coverage and are of interest to readers but for an Irish sport with over 100,000 players around the country, and with two All Ireland semi-finals broadcast live in primetime on the national broadcaster, the balance seems to be off.
Anyway, it has to be hoped that the coverage in advance of the Final on September 8th will be better and deservedly so. Galway went into their semi-final against Cork as underdogs but put on a display of huge intensity to emerge as winners by a single point. This year’s National League Winners last won the Championship back in 2013 but the level of their performance against the three in a row seeking Cork gives them a real chance in three weeks time.
Kilkenny will be there to meet them having come through against a young Tipperary team by 2-21 to 3-12.
The haul of five goals in that Semi-Final was three more than the total scored across the last three Final’s which have pitched Cork and Kilkenny against each other.
A fresh team with a real chance and a large potential support base from the county will be a major promotional advantage for the Camogie Association as they look to attract a crowd of 25,000 to Croke Park for a day of three finals at Junior, Intermediate and Senior Finals.
Galway doubles up in the Intermediate Final against Westmeath while Kerry and Limerick will be in action in the Premier Junior Final.
Image credit: Ryan Byrne, Inpho.ie