Munster Senior B Championship Final
Banner Ladies v Ballymacarbry @ Mallow, Friday 8pm
While five-in-a-row chasing Mourneabbey remain the biggest stumbling block to Munster A success, undoubtedly the biggest rivalry in the province this decade has been the annual clash of the Banner Ladies and perennial Waterford champions Ballymacarbry.
Following their 37th successive county title, Ballymacarbry face their eight-in-a-row Clare equivalents for the seventh consecutive season, eighth if you include the 2011 All-Ireland Senior 7’s Final meeting that the Deise side edged by a point, only 12 months on from the Banner winning the intermediate version.
It’s the Banner’s seventh Munster Senior B decider in eight years, the last five of which have been against Ballymacarbry, winning four of those in 2012, ’13, ’14 and ’16, with only one A title following in 2013.
On the flip side, Ballymacarbry’s 2015 final triumph over the Ennis side was backed up by a second B crown last year when overcoming the Banner in the semi-final by 3-14 to 1-08 before subsequently falling to Mourneabbey once more in the A version.
Indeed, the provincial Roll of Honour leaders haven’t secured the A title since 2000, having dominated the previous 15 seasons with 14 crowns from 1985 that also remarkably included ten All-Ireland’s.
So which side have the edge this time around? Well, the Banner are certainly more battled-hardened as they followed up their All-Ireland Senior 7’s retention by completing the ‘Greatful Eight’ a week later in the county final before seeing off Tipperary champions Cahir less than a fortnight ago. Ballymacarbry meanwhile haven’t had a competitive game in four weeks after been awarded a walkover in their Munster Semi-Final against Killarney.
And with Aoife Keane back to her best following a Player-of-the-Game display in Saturday’s County Senior Camogie Final for Inagh-Kilnamona’s historic three-in-a-row, her playmaking skills allied to the form of devastating finishers Niamh O’Dea and Grainne Nolan, could see the pendulum swing back in the Clare champions favour once more.
Verdict: Banner Ladies
Banner Ladies v Ballymacarbry Munster Senior B Championship Rivalry
- 2012 – Final – Banner Ladies 4-11 Ballymacarbry 4-08 (Lost to Inch Rovers (Cork) by 2-12 to 1-05 in A Final)
- 2013 – Final – Banner Ladies 5-06 Ballymacarbry 2-12 (Beat St Val’s (Cork) by 1-13 to 1-12 in A Final)
- 2014 – Final – Banner Ladies 4-11 Ballymacarbry 2-12 (Lost to Mourneabbey (Cork) by 3-7 to 2-8 in A Final)
- 2015 – Final – Ballymacarbry 1-22 Banner Ladies 0-17 (Lost to Mourneabbey (Cork) by 3-19 to 0-14 in A Final)
- 2016 – Final – Banner Ladies 4-09 Ballymacarbry 1-12 (Lost to Mourneabbey (Cork) by 2-16 to 1-06 in A Final)
- 2017 – Semi-Final – Ballymacarbry 3-14 Banner Ladies 1-08 (Lost to Mourneabbey (Cork) by 3-09 to 0-11 in A Final)
- 2018 – Munster Senior B Final – Banner Ladies v Ballymacarbry @ (Winner to face Mourneabbey in A Final)