PREVIEWS: Big weekend of intermediate semi-finals at Tipperary club camogie

Camogie Intermediate Championships – Saturday 15th October – County Camogie Grounds, The Ragg

Newport Ballinahinch v Shannon Rovers at 1pm

Borris-Ileigh v Kilruane MacDonaghs at 3.30pm

On Saturday afternoon, we’ll know the pairing for this year’s FBD Insurance Intermediate final after the roller coaster of a championship.

The Intermediate Championship this year consisted of a group of seven teams, with each team competing to see who will take the top four spots and a place in the semi-finals.

After a highly competitive group campaign, neither side remained unbeaten with Borris-Ileigh leading the standings with nine points while second, third and fourth all finished with eight points and the score difference determining the standings.

Saturday’s double header should therefore produce two very close matches. First, the meeting of Newport Ballinahinch and Shannon Rovers.

After losing last year’s final to Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams, Shannon Rovers will be eager to reach this year’s final and go even further.

They have a good mix of youth and experience with Aoife McLoughney up front along with minor county players Celine Guinan and Emma Darcy.

Elsewhere, big performances will be needed from Gillian McKenna and Laura Leenane if they are to overtake a Newport Ballinahinch side who have delivered strong performances this year on their way to Saturday’s semi-final. In the first championship game of this year, they beat Shannon Rovers by three points 1-17 to 1-11.

In captain Saoirse McGrath, they have an excellent leader and free taker. Up front, Grace O’Toole and Keeley Lenihan made a big part of the scoring while Caroline Mullaney impressed at center back. Borris-Ileigh have lost just one game so far this year and that was against Kilruane MacDonaghs by the narrowest of margins 1-11 to 3-6.

They also drew with Cahir a side who beat Kilruane in their opening match. So, again, a close game is expected. Borris’ key players will be Julianne Bourke and Teresa Ryan, who are likely to be centre-backs and midfielders respectively.
Emma Maher, Katie Fitzgerald and Aoife Fitzgerald have been others to impress this year while captain Aedin Hogan has been excellent in the free games.

The key player for Kilruane has undoubtedly been Tipperary senior player Laura Shinners. She has scored key goals in nearly every game for them this year and will definitely need to be watched closely.

Amy Quinlisk and Lianne O’Kelly have also put their names on the scoreboard throughout the year and were particularly impressive in their final group match where they recorded a 2-11 0-8 win. points against Newport Ballinahinch.

Kilruane head into the semi-final with real momentum against a Borris-Ileigh side who for many have been the in-form side of the Championship.

Both teams were impressive in last year’s semi-finals despite the result falling short. Two not-to-miss semi-finals will take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at County Camogie Grounds, The Ragg.