A round-up of the 2017 Camogie Championships
Cork claimed the All-Ireland Senior Camogie title in Croke Park on September 10th. The Leesiders win was the climax to a record breaking season for the sport in Ireland which saw a jump in viewership and attendance figures throughout the campaign.
The opening weekend of the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Camogie Championship got off to a comfortable, yet perfect start for the holders Kilkenny with a win in a south-east derby against Waterford at Walsh Park. Kilkenny 2-16 Waterford 0-6. The holders would go on to top their group with a record of 3 wins and 1 draw whilst it went down to the wire for the remaining teams to battle it out for the two quarter final spots. Galway and Dublin emerged victorious from the busy final round of the Group Stages.
Meanwhile in Group Two, Cork overcame a shaky first half in their opening game to beat Tipperary 1-16 to 1-7 at the Ragg. The win set the tone for their Championship and they emerged from the Group stages with 4 wins from 4 and easily qualified for the Semi Finals. Wexford qualified for the Quarter Finals losing only to Cork along the way whilst Tipperary qualified at the expense of Offaly and Limerick due to a superior points difference.
In the Quarter Finals of the Championships, Galway easily overcame Tipperary with the tribeswomen running riot on the points front. Dublin and Wexford played out a fine competitive game with the Dubliners putting away a Wexford side missing the recently retired Kate Kelly.
The neutral fans were hoping for a replay of the 2016 edition of the Championship and their prayers were answered in the Semi Finals. The games saw strong performances from the seasoned and experienced Cork and Kilkenny sides that helped them overcome the efforts of two young and spirited sides in Galway and Dublin in the Semi Finals.
In the Final, Julia White became the toast of Leeside when her score six minutes into injury time broke Kilkenny hearts and captured the O'Duffy Cup. Cork took the crown for a record 27th time to top the Roll of Honour.
In the Liberty Insurance Intermediate Camogie Championship, the 4 strongest teams to emerge from the Group Stages were Derry and Kildare in Group 1 and Cork and Meath in Group 2. Cork and Meath who had been competitive with each other throughout the Championship progressed to the final and couldn’t be separated on the day as they drew 1-09 apiece.
The replay will take place on the 1st October in The Gaelic Grounds in Limerick at 14:30.
In the Premier Junior competition, Westmeath and Dublin progressed from larger Group 1 whilst Kerry and Armagh qualified from Group 2. It would be the Group 1 qualifiers who would progress to the final where Westmeath beat Dublin 1-10 to 1-06 to claim the Liberty Insurance Premier Junior Camogie crown for 2017.
The Liberty Insurance All Ireland Camogie Final drew the fourth biggest crowd for a stand-alone Finals day since 1932 with 20,438 coming to Croke Park.
An average of 276,800 viewers tuned into the live coverage of both the intermediate and senior finals, an increase of 60,400 on 12 months ago. The viewership was an increase of 46,000 on the peak of 328,000 viewers who tuned in for last year's final, in which the Cats beat the Rebels 1-13 to 1-09.
Add in the numbers who watched the Semi Finals and Quarter Finals, broadcast on RTÉ sport in August for the first time this year, and the overall number tuning into the sport will set a strong new high on anything seen before.
Liberty Insurance are proud sponsors of the Senior, Intermediate and Junior Camogie Championships and we wish to congratulate both the victors from this years Championships on their wins and indeed ALL the teams who played throughout the season. We look forward now to the Camogie All Stars in November.