Cork v Kilkenny,
Croke Park, 4.00
Kilkenny aim to cap an unbeaten league and championship season by winning their first All-Ireland senior title in 20 years.
All across the field they possess game-changers and they will go into this clash full of confidence.
Kate McDonald at full-back and Collette Dormer at centre-back will play influential roles in a defence which has been water-tight all season, bar the semi-final. The concession of three goals in that game will be a cause for concern, particularly with Cork's full-forward line of Orla Cotter, Katriona Mackey and Julia White as potent as they come. Cotter's duel with McDonald will be key, as will the match-up of Angela Walsh at centre-forward against Dormer.
The most crucial area for both teams is midfield, with the mercurial Ann Dalton and skipper Leann Fennelly facing formidable opponents in Rena Buckley and Ashling Thompson. Both sides have extremely fast forward lines. Kilkenny's Katie Power and Denise Gaule are influential up front while the pace of Michelle Quilty will pose questions of the Cork defence.
The teams have not met this season, which adds to the intrigue. Neither will lack for motivation, hunger or desire. The question remains, though, whether Kilkenny will have enough to push them over the line or will Cork's experience, with players such as Gemma O'Connor and Aoife Murray in their ranks, edge them to All-Ireland glory.
Cork: A Murray; J O'Callaghan, A Geary, L Treacy; E O'Sullivan, G O'Connor, P Mackey; R Buckley, A Thompson; J O'Leary, A Walsh, B
Corkery; J White, O Cotter, K Mackey.
Kilkenny: E Kavanagh; M Power, K McDonald, J Frisby; C Phelan, C Dormer, E Aylward; L Fennelly, A Dalton; D Gaule, A Dunphy, A Connery; S Farrell, K Power, M Quilty.
Limerick v Kilkenny,
Croke Park, 2.00
Limerick suffered a heart-breaking defeat to Galway in last year's encounter. Joe Quaid's team have bounced back, though, and sailed through the round-robin stages, recording wins over Kildare, Antrim, Galway and Tipperary by an aggregate of 76 points. A fiercely fought game with Waterford in the semi-final will have set them up well for the challenge Kilkenny pose.
The Limerick half-forward line of Caoimhe Costello, Niamh Mulcahy and Rebecca Delee are key figures, as is Michelle Casey at full-back and Sarah Carey at centre-back.
Kilkenny enjoyed an unbeaten run in the round-robin stages and eased into the final with a comfortable win over Kildare. Captain Mags Fennelly, at corner-forward, along with Lydia Fitzpatrick and midfield duo Megan Farrell and Aine Kinsella, will be expected to have a big influence.
Limerick: S Moynihan; F Hickey, M Casey, J Mulcahy; K O'Leary, S Carey, C Mulcahy; D Fitzpatrick, M O'Callaghan; C Costello, N Mulcahy, R Delee; D Murphy, A Sheehan, M Fitzgerald.
Kilkenny: AM Lennon; E Frisby, C Foley, T Muldowney; C Aylward, A Fahey, S Quirke; M Farrell, A Kinsella; S Crowley, A Farrell, L Norris; M Fennelly, O Hanrick, L Fitzpatrick.
Laois v Down,
Croke Park, 12.00
When the sides met earlier this year, Laois won in a shoot-out 3-12 to 1-17. Sarah Anne Fitzgerald captains the side and her performance in the semi-final win over Dublin, hitting 1-10, will have Down taking note. Niamh Dollard at full-forward and Louise Mahony at wing-forward are also key figures.
Down will look to captain Niamh Mallon at corner-forward and Sara Louise Carr to lead the side while the experience of Fionnuala Carr and Catherine McGourty is also vital. The pain of defeats in 2011 and 2012 at this level may give the Mourne outfit that little extra edge, but it will be very tight affair.
Laois: L Dunne; M Burke, J Dollard, R Bermingham; M O'Grady, E Delaney, A Dunphy; S Burke, AM Purcell; C Walsh, SA Fitzgerald, L Mahony; O Parkinson, N Dollard, D Mortimer.
Down: M McNally; K Tinnelly, C McGovern, B McGourty; C Rocks, L McAliskey, F Carr; A Keown, K McMullan; L McPolin, P Gribben, C McGourty; N Mallon, SL Carr, K Gribben.
Sunday Indo Sport