Julianne Malone stepping up on maiden journey with Kilkenny

Julianne Malone aims to complete a dazzling debut national league season tomorrow by firing Kilkenny to a 12th title in the competition.

Having made her first start in the March defeat against Cork, Malone scored a vital extra-time goal in the semi-final win over Tipperary.

The 2014 champions topped Division 1, Group 2 with three victories in four games, that single point defeat to Cork on March 20 the only blemish.

“For me personally, it was my first time ever starting for the Kilkenny senior county team. I suppose overall, it was grand,” the Mullinavat woman reflects.

“It was a tough game against Cork, I suppose those games will probably stand to us for the championship.”

The semi-final against Tipperary two weeks ago was another step up, the sides locked at nine points apiece before extra-time goals from Malone and Denise Gaule set up at 2-13 to 0-15 win and a place in tomorrow’s final with Galway at Semple stadium.

“We were delighted to pull through after extra-time.

“But I suppose we do have to up our game for Galway.

“We didn’t really perform to our best on semi-final day. It is a confidence-booster to know we have that drive in us and we can do what we have to do to get through on the day.”

The tribeswomen have yet to taste defeat in this year’s league campaign and Malone is aware of the stiff challenge ahead.

“They are a tough team and we have to perform on the day and it will be a tough battle, but we’re just worrying about our own team and we don’t mind what Galway bring to us.

“We will just have to deal with it on the day. We know that it will be a battle, Galway are a physical side and we know they will a battle for every ball, we just have to put it up to them for the day.”

Malone will play in front of largest crowd of her career tomorrow, when the camogie finalacts as curtain-raiser to the Allianz Hurling League final.

“It does make it more special for us,” Malone said.

“It will add to the occasion and it will be special for us, it will be good for camogie too.”


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