FIERCE rivals Drumcullen and Shinrone go head to head this Sunday in the Offaly Senior Camogie Final in St Brendan’s Park in Birr with Shinrone looking to end Drumcullen’s latest reign as county champions.
Drumcullen are going for three in a row of titles having won the decider in 2009 and 2010.
They made it through to the final with a hard fought win over Birr in their semi-final while Shinrone had a much easier path through to the decider overcoming Kilcormac/Killoughey.
There is an intense rivalry but genuine respect between these two sides. They last met in the final in 2008 with Shinrone emerging victorious on that occasion by 2-8 to 1-7.
Since the introduction of the Senior Championship in Offaly in 1993 Drumcullen and Shinrone have met in the final on no fewer than 14 occasions. Drumcullen held the upper hand in the 90’s and early part of this century but Shinrone have set about balancing the books in more recent years.
Drumcullen came out on top in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2005 while Shinrone emerged victorious in 2001, 2004, 2006 and most recently in 2008.
The sides also met in the group stages of the championship with Shinrone again coming out on top on that occasion by 2-10 to 1-10.
That put the pressure firmly on Drumcullen in what was much the stronger of the two groups in the championship as they needed a win over a strong Tullamore side to even advance to the last four but they delivered on the day to keep their title defence on track.
Shinrone also overcame Tullamore on route to topping the far stronger of the championship groups which earned them the considerably easier semi-final.
While they will be delighted to have won their semi-final comfortably, it is not an ideal preparation for a final as they were not pushed by Kilcormac/Killoughey.
Drumcullen meanwhile were pushed all the way by Birr which will stand to them in what is sure to be a tight final.
Both sides are stocked with a host of experienced and very talented players at both club and county level.
All the factors going into this game suggest it will be a very entertaining and very close game with every likelihood that just the odd score will separate the sides when the final whistle goes.