The Offaly Minor Camogie team travel to Ashbourne this Saturday evening to take on Wexford in the All Ireland Minor B Final.
The game throws in at 5pm which is an unfortunate clash with the Offaly Senior Footballers Division 4 Final but nonetheless the minor camogie team is hoping that supporters will travel in great numbers to cheer them on on the day.
Both Offaly and Wexford have made it through to the final off the back of three succesive wins however the Slaneysiders will go in as favourites given that they have won each of their games by an average of 20 points.
Offaly opened their campaign on a bitterly cold and snowy day in Dublin and they showed great battling qualities and determination to come away with a narrow win. After that they overcame Waterford in Crinkle and in their All Ireland semi-final they had too much for a tenacious Antrim side in a game played in Cavan.
Senior panelist Grainne Egan was the star of the show that day accounting for 2-7 of Offaly’s 3-7 as they registered a 3-7 to 0-7 victory.
Offaly have a very strong panel with a number of U-16 players who were very unlucky to lose out to Wexford in their Leinster Final involved.
Roisin Egan and Aisling Brennan will anchor the minor defence as they did for the U-16s while Mairead Jennings and Cailin Fitzgerald will also have key roles for the minor side.
The all action Laura Keneghan and the stylish Kelly Sammon will likely complete the Offaly half-back line either side of Aisling Brennan and this line will be key if Offaly are to keep Wexford in check.
Up front Grainne Egan carries the main scoring threat however the rest of the forwards will need to be on their game if Offaly are to claim All Ireland glory. Rachel Brennan is a constant threat at full-forward while Drumcullen’s Anne Marie Guinan possesses the pace to cut through any rearguard.
Offaly manager Sean O’Meara has a full panel to chose from for the first time this season and he will have some selection decisions to make before throw in.
Whoever starts for Offaly, they will need to be right on their game if they are to contain and outscore a very talented Wexford side.
Their 2-14 to 0-2 win over Dublin in the semi-final came after wins in the group over Down (6-12 to 0-8) and Antrim (8-13 to 2-10). Wexford have scored 16 goals in three games while Offaly goalkeeper Shannon Touhey, another U-16, has kept two clean sheets. If Offaly can win this battle on Sunday, they will have taken a giant step towards All Ireland glory.
Up through the ranks there has been little to chose between these sides with Offaly narrowly winning the corresponding game two years ago at Under 16.
If both teams hurl to their best, there will be little in it at the finish with Offaly hoping they will be have enough to see off their Leinster opponents.