Sarsfields hot favourites to land fifth consecutive title

By Eanna O’Reilly

The race for the Catherine Donnellan Cup gets underway this weekend with the opening round of the county senior camogie championship, with some eye-catching fixtures on the opening weekend.

The senior A championship gets underway on Friday evening when Craughwell face defending champions Sarsfields in a repeat of the recent league final, which Sarsfields won comprehensively.

The All-Ireland club champions and five-in-a-row-chasing Sarsfields side will once again be overwhelming favourites for another title this year. Hopper McGrath’s charges showed no loss of ambition in winning the league, despite the absence of some key players.

Cora Kenny suffered a shoulder injury in the league final, while they are also without Laoise McGrath, and Sheena Warde through injury. Nevertheless, Orlaith McGrath’s return after missing last season is a huge boost.

Craughwell, under the management of Barry Blaine, are a very young side hoping to bring through players from their successful minor team this year. They will look to the likes of Leanne Freaney, Keisha Coleman, and Clodagh O’Meara for a big impact, in what is a daunting challenge in round one. Caoimhe Reidy is a loss to Craughwell this season, but they are hoping to have Sarah McCartin back during the championship.

Saturday sees Mullagh take on Ardrahan (Kilbeacanty, 7pm), in a fixture which has produced some great games over the years. Ray Duane takes charge of Mullagh this season, and they are captained by Erica Coen. Mullagh have lost Deirdre Kelly and Cathy Bowes this year. They will also be hoping Ciara Donohue and Karen Kennedy can recover from injuries in time to play a part.

Pictured at the launch of the senior county campaign championship in the Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry this week were, back row, from left: Niamh McGrath, Erica Coen, Katie Anna Porter, Christina Hanley and Leanne Freaney, with Niamh Donnellan and Shiela Forde (seated).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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