THE race for the PK Coaches Clare Senior Camogie Championship will get underway this weekend. Sixmilebridge and Wolfe Tones clash this Thursday and the remaining games will be on Friday evening.
Group one comprises Kilkishen, Clooney, Kilmaley and Scariff-Ogonnelloe while Group 2 is made up of Bodyke-Tulla, Newmarket, Sixmilebridge and Wolfe Tones.
The top two teams from each group will reach the championship semi-finals for the McMahon Cup with the top team in group one playing the runner-up in group two and vice versa.
Third and fourth placed teams will then play for the Glenomra Shield and this will be the second year of the competition.
Kilmihil go into this campaign in search of a third successive title. They will be the favourites for the title as they also won the U-18A last year and have already claimed the league title in May. They take on the East Clare amalgamation of Scariff-Ogonnelloe in the opening round and should be strong enough to open their campaign with a win.
Ironically, Scariff take on Ogonnelloe in the opening round of the intermediate title race.
With the experience of such as Denise Lynch, Helen and Claire McMahon, Ailish and Eimear Considine, Shónagh Enright and Emma O’Driscoll to mention some, Kilmaley, this year under the management of Martin Enright, Freddie Markham and Terry Kennedy, will be hard to beat.
Clooney will be hoping that they can go a step further this year as they look to continue building on the Glenomra title they won last year. They won the U-16A and U-18B titles last year and made their way to the senior league final earlier in the year. They were disappointed in their showing on that evening and will be looking towards the championship to see how much they have progressed. They play neighbours Kilkishen in the opening tie and will be looking to such as Deirdre Murphy, Aisling Corbett, Claire Ryan, Amy Colleran, Jessica O’Neill and Orlaith Duggan to lead the way.
Their management team comprises Raymond Ryan, Mike Murphy, Mike Duggan, Brian Shally and Marie Begley.
Kilkishen are in their first year at senior level for many years. They have a very young panel and will be hoping to cause problems for their more experienced opponents. A place in the Glenomra Shield Final may be a more realistic aspiration for the team this year. They will be looking to such as Nora Murphy, Lisa Loughnane and Kate Lynch top lead the way.
They are managed by Brendan Noonan with John McNamara and Mairéad Frost as selectors.
A shortage of numbers in both parishes has resulted in Bodyke and Tulla amalgamating for this season’s senior campaign. Their squad will include such as Ann Marie Fitzgerald and Lorna Power
Newmarket-on-Fergus have struggled in recent years when they failed to get over the Kilmaley challenge. They look to be rebuilding with a young panel. They will be looking to such as Jane O’Leary, Erica Minogue the Kaiser sisters and the McMahon sisters. The team is managed by Brian Enright with selectors Trish O’Grady, Paddy Meehan, Noel McInerney and Elaine McMahon
Sixmilebridge are last year’s beaten finalists and had a very narrow win to Kilmaley in the league earlier in the year. The experience from that should stand to them. They will be looking to the likes of Chloe Morey and Aiveen O’Shea and could well be the team to cause most problems for Kilmaley.
Wolfe Tones will need a stronger showing than last year to help them remain in the senior ranks. They finished last and were out of the Glenomra Shield. They will be looking to such as team captain Evelyn McGirl, Áine Ni Cormaic, Lizzy Danaher and Emma Ryan.
The team manager is Ray Diviney with Marion Costelloe as selector.