A repeat of the 2016 decider sees holders Cork, chasing six-in-a-row, up against Mayo at the penultimate stage of the competition.
This is also a repeat of last year’s TG4 All-Ireland semi-final between the counties and the fixture will provide a pretty accurate gauge of both teams’ progress in 2018.
Mayo have been boosted by the return to the squad of experienced defender Martha Carter but manager Peter Leahy indicated this week that she won’t feature in the concluding stages of the League.
Cora Staunton is back in Ireland following a successful stint with GWS Giants in the Women’s AFL, and Leahy will hope that she features during the summer, while veteran goalkeeper Yvonne Byrne is another player yet to declare her intentions for 2018.
Despite Staunton’s absence, Mayo have progressed to a League semi-final and with a strong spread of scorers throughout the team.
Sarah Rowe has emerged as a real leader in attack and she’s flanked in an impressive full-forward line by the Kelly sisters, Niamh and Grace.
Cork have real firepower of their own to call upon as Eimear Scally and Orla Finn form two-thirds of a potentially lethal inside line.
The O’Sullivan sisters, Doireann and Ciara, line out in the half-forward line, with Aisling Hutchings and Brid O’Sullivan anchoring midfield.
Cork won the group fixture between the counties but Leahy will hope that his players learned the lessons from that outing as they prepare to face Ephie Fitzgerald’s champions.
Cork: M O’Brien; M Ambrose, E Meaney, E Spillane; M O’Callaghan, M Duggan, S Kelly; A Hutchings, B O’Sullivan; C O’Sullivan, D O’Sullivan, O Farmer; L Coppinger, E Scally, O Finn.
Mayo: S Murphy; O Conlon, S Tierney, S Ludden; D Caldwell, E Lowther, D Hughes; C McManamon, A Gilroy; F McHale, F Doherty, S Cafferky; N Kelly, S Rowe, G Kelly.