At this week’s AIB #TheToughest media day ahead of the weekend’s All-Ireland club championship action in GAA and camogie, Sarsfields centre back Maria Cooney represented her club.
The All-Ireland champions take on Dublin’s St. Vincent’s this Saturday (10th December) in the AIB All-Ireland semi-final.
Maria was chatting to Galway Bay FM’s Darren Kelly
Throw-in at St. Brendan’s Park, Birr on Saturday is 1.30pm and we’ll have LIVE coverage here on Galway Bay FM.
There’s another action-packed weekend of Gaelic Games action in store across the country this weekend, as all eyes turn to some hugely-anticipated match ups in the AIB Camogie Club All-Ireland Championship semi-finals and the AIB Ulster and Munster GAA Football Senior Club Championship finals.
In the AIB Camogie All-Ireland Senior Club Championships, Loughgiel Shamrocks (Antrim) and Tipperary’s Drom and Inch will do battle in the first semi-final at 1pm in Donaghmore Ashbourne GAA on Saturday, December 10th. St Vincent’s of Dublin meanwhile will go head-to-head with reigning All-Ireland champions, Sarsfields of Galway in their semi-final on December 10th at 1.30pm in Birr (Offaly), while the AIB Camogie All-Ireland Intermediate, Junior and Junior B Club Championship semi-finals are also taking place this weekend.
The remaining AIB GAA Provincial Club Championship Finals will be decided this weekend, with some interesting clashes in store across the provinces. Reigning AIB GAA All-Ireland Football Senior Club champions, Kilcoo, are hoping to win three Ulster crowns in-a-row when they face off against Watty Graham’s Glen at the Athletic Grounds (Armagh) on Sunday, December 11th at 1pm. In Munster meanwhile, an interesting showdown is in store in the AIB Munster GAA Football Senior Club Championship Final, as Kerins O’Rahillys of Kerry face Limerick’s Newcastle West at Páirc Uí Rinn (Cork) on Saturday, December 10th at 7.30pm.
The AIB GAA All-Ireland Club Championships features some of #TheToughest players from communities all across Ireland. It is these very communities that the players represent that make the AIB GAA All-Ireland Club Championships unique. Now in its 32nd year supporting the Club Championships, AIB is extremely proud to once again celebrate the communities that play such a role in sustaining our national games. From players to coaches, volunteers to referees, to the passionate fans who will fill stadiums across Ireland this weekend, AIB thanks all those whose work often goes unseen.
In attendance to look ahead to this weekend’s games were Dee Johnstone (St Vincent’s), Maria Cooney (Sarsfields), Amy Boyle (Loughgiel Shamrocks), Aoife McGrath (Drom and Inch), Aaron Branagan (Kilcoo), Emmet Bradley (Watty Graham’s Glen), Cian Sheehan (Newcastle West) and David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys).
In the AIB Camogie All-Ireland Senior Club Championships semi-finals, two interesting clashes are in store. St Vincent’s of Dublin are enjoying a superb run of form of late, having been crowned Leinster champions following a hugely impressive and dramatic display over reigning, and three-in-a-row chasing, Leinster holders, Oulart the Ballagh. Edging Oulart by just a point on the day, Vincents’ will need to dig deep once more if they hope to down the current AIB Camogie All-Ireland Club champions, Sarsfields. The Galway outfit come into the test with years of big game experience under their belts, and will undoubtedly be hoping to defend their title in style and reach the hallowed grounds of Croke Park for All-Ireland final day on December 17th.
The second semi-final is set to be just as interesting, as newly-crowned Ulster champions, Loughgiel Shamrocks (Antrim) face off against Drom and Inch of Tipperary. Loughgiel come into the game with their tails up, having finally overcome old nemesis, Slaughtneil, in Ulster to secure their first provincial crown since 2015. A strong display will be needed from them though if they are to quench the firepower of Drom and Inch, who also put in a blistering provincial final display to exact revenge and dispatch rivals, Scariff Ogonnelloe to book their semi-final spot. With some interesting match ups throughout the field, it’s definitely set to be one to watch this Saturday, December 10th.
Elsewhere, the AIB Camogie All-Ireland Intermediate, Junior and Junior B semi-finals are also taking place this weekend. In the Intermediate ties, Castlegar (Galway) face James Stephens (Kilkenny), while Clonduff (Down) and Clanmaurice (Kerry) will face off in the other semi-final. In the Junior semi-finals, St.Dominic’s (Roscommon) and Knockananna (Wicklow) will go head-to-head, while Adare (Limerick) and Na Brídíní Óga will do battle for a spot in the final. The AIB Camogie All-Ireland Junior B semi-finals meanwhile see Fr.Murphys (UK) face Lacken (Cavan), while Delvin (Westmeath) and Roscommon Gaels (Roscommon) will go head-to-head in the other semi-final.
Over to the AIB GAA Club Championship action meanwhile, a mouth-watering fixture is in store in the AIB Ulster GAA Football Senior Club Championship final, as reigning All-Ireland champions, Kilcoo, go on the hunt for a third Ulster crown in-a-row. Kilcoo dispatched Enniskillen Gaels in their semi-final clash, to book their spot in the final. Watty Graham’s Glen meanwhile also come in to the clash in impressive form. The talented young side were pushed to the end by Cargin in their semi-final bout, but dug deep to get across the line on a final score of 1-10 to 0-8 to tee up a rematch with Kilcoo.
In Munster meanwhile, an interesting showdown is in store in the AIB Munster GAA Football Senior Club Championship Final, as Kerins O’Rahillys of Kerry face Limerick’s Newcastle West in what is set to be a fascinating tie at at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday, December 10th at 7.30pm. Kerins O’Rahillys come into their first provincial final since 2009 off the back of a very tough test with Eire Og Ennis (Clare), where they held off a determined finish from the Clare
side in the dying seconds to win by the narrowest of margins. Newcastle West also held on in an enthralling semi-final showdown with Clonmel Commercials that was decided in extra time. A thrilling encounter saw them tie up proceedings with a late Ruadhan O’Connor score, and they pushed through extra time in style to win by five in the end.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s games, AIB Chief Executive, Colin Hunt said: “The AIB Camogie All-Ireland Club Championships and the AIB GAA All-Ireland Club Championships have produced some thrilling encounters down through the years, and we have another big weekend of action in store. The AIB Camogie and AIB GAA All Ireland Club Championships are brilliant competitions, engaging people of all ages and from every walk of life. Clubs are at the heart of communities across the country, and we have no doubt that the fans will be out in force once more this weekend, getting behind their players. We wish all teams involved the very best of luck.”
Uachtarán an Cumann Camógaíochta, Hilda Breslin said: “We are looking forward to another action-packed AIB Camogie All-Ireland Club Championships semi-final, as clubs continue to represent their communities with pride. It will undoubtedly be a brilliant weekend, with fierce battles between equally matched pairings. We wish all teams, clubs, and supporters the best of luck and thank them for their dedication and hard work. We are extremely grateful to our sponsors AIB for their commitment to our great sport at club level, where they touch communities in every county of Ireland.”
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Larry McCarthy stated: “We are looking forward to what will undoubtedly be another big weekend of provincial final action as our two remaining provincial titles will be decided. The AIB GAA All-Ireland Club Championships have given us some thrilling games over the past number of months, and it has been fantastic to see the players, fans, coaches and volunteers give their all for their clubs, week by week. We have no doubt that this weekend will prove to be no different, and wish all teams the very best of luck. The opportunity to represent your club, family and community is a very special and unique one, and we are delighted to have the long-standing support of AIB behind the Club Championships.”