Athleague can ‘bridge the gap

All-Ireland Junior Camogie Semi-Final: Athleague v Johnstownbridge (Kildare) at Cusack Park in Mullingar on Sunday at 2.45 pm

Athleague, the Roscommon champions will attempt to reverse last year’s All-Ireland club final result when they face Johnstownbridge in Mullingar on Sunday.

  But having won their second title in Roscommon just a few weeks ago and the Connacht title in recent weeks, there is a quiet confidence about this Athleague team as they prepare for battle on Sunday.

  I have been talking to Athleague ace Kelley Hopkins who will be hoping to play a leading role on Sunday.

  “Things have gone very well since we won our second county title in a row. We went into the Connacht intermediate club final three weeks ago and as you might know we were beaten by 28 points in the same competition last year. We were three points behind this year against Cappataggle and we held them scoreless in the second half and won it by seven points in the end so there is a big difference this year.

   “We are in a great position now, we have had a few challenge games since that Connacht final and we have worked hard and we intend to give it a good lash on Sunday. We feel that we have improved from last year and remember when we played them in that final we were short Laura Fleming and Niamh Farrell so we are a lot stronger this time around.

  “It’s only one game at a time but we are quietly confident that we can do it and get back to an All-Ireland final. We are unbeaten since November 2015 so hopefully we can keep that record this Sunday,” she concluded.

  Under joint managers, Liam Gordon and Ciara Moran, Athleague have a great blend of youth and experience and Elaine Daly, Kelley Hopkins, Annette McGeeney, Rachel Fitzmaurice, Nora Brennan, Niamh Farrell and Laura Fleming are all top class performers and can lead the others on the team.

  In last year’s final, the Johnstownbridge girls prevailed by 2-10 to 0-7 but this is a different Athleague they are facing on Sunday. Athleague can reverse that result and get to the final.


Prediction: Athleague