THE Offaly U-16A Camogie team go in search of Leinster glory this Sunday when they face Wexford in the final in Mullinavat.
The game throws in at 12pm and it promises to be an evenly fought game between two talented and skillful sides.
Offaly, who won the All Ireland U-16 B last year, had mixed fortunes on their way to the final but under the stewardship of JP Egan. Noreen Feeney, Padraig Feeney, Denis Hoctor and Declan Fitzgerald, the side has been improving steadily throughout the provincial campaign winning their last two games.
Offaly opened their season with a game away to Kilkenny where they lost out by 6-7 to 3-7 however the scoreline did not do justice to the efforts of the visitors on the day.
Next up was a home game against Dublin in Carrig and while Offaly lost out by a single point on a scoreline of 1-7 to 2-8, there were signs of improvement which bore fruit in their final group game against Wexford.
That game was played in appalling conditions on March 10 but Offaly overcame the elements and their opponents to register a 2-5 to 2-4 win.
That result was a timely confidence boost for the side and they brought that with them to the next game which was the rematch with Kilkenny in the semi-final.
After losing out to the same opponents in February, Offaly turned the result around coming away with a 2-9 to 1-11 win to secure their place in the decider. Wexford overcame Dublin by 3-6 to 1-9 in the other semi-final to set up this Sunday’s final.
The Offaly team is backboned by players who also feature on the minor team including goalkeeper Shannon Touhey, centre-back Aisling Brennan, Mairead Jennings and Colleen Fitzgerald.
This will be a tough test for Offaly but it is a measure of the standard that the Faithful County have now reached that the county’s young stars can go toe to toe on a weekly basis with the best sides in the country in the A grade in the knowledge they have every chance of coming away with a win.
Wexford will certainly prove to be formidable opponents and they will no doubt be out for revenge after their defeat against Offaly in the group stage.
The results throughout the championship show just how evenly matched the sides were with the odd point settling a number of the games. This Sunday’s final should be equally as close with Offaly hoping that the scoreboard is in their favour when the final whistle goes.