Laura Hayes of Cork in action against Sarah Lacey of Waterford during the Munster Senior Camogie Championship final match between Cork and Waterford at FBD Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Cork camogie teams are chasing semi-final spots

The focus this week is very much on camogie as the Cork Senior and Intermediate teams bid to maintain their unbeaten runs and in the process secure direct routes to the last four of their respective championships.

Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship

Cork v Galway Saturday SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh 4pm

“Very happy with the win and the overall display we were very sharp all over the field and had the game sewn up well before half-time” Cork senior manager Ger Manley on the emphatic win over Dublin last Saturday.

He kept referring to the depth of the squad being very important as they head into the business end of the season: “Very much so we picked up a few knocks, the most serious is that to Meabh (Cahalane) who is likely be out for a few weeks, which is a pity as she is playing very well, but that’s the nature of sport, so that affords another player an opportunity to put her hand up.”

Laura Tracey who returned during the Clare game and played the full 60 minutes last week pleased the manager.

He said: “Yeah it’s great Laura is a big and experienced player for us and we are delighted that she is back.”

The other pleasing aspect is the capacity to run up big scores: “We are delighted with that, even on a very poor day weather wise against Wexford our shooting was spot and we have continued that in all our games and it’s brilliant that the forwards are taking the chances we are creating.”

Pace is another area in which this team has in abundance and with the firming up of the grounds it is showing, Laura Hayes, Saoirse Mc Carthy and Amy O’Connor are in flying form right now.

Playing in SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh is also very important as Ger explained: “The further you go in the championship the bigger the pitches and I must say the pitch in the Park is in the best condition I have ever seen and all credit to the ground staff it’s a pleasure to play and certainly suits our style of play.”

Ironically the last time Cork lost was to Saturday’s opposition, a defeat that ended Cork’s league aspirations and Ger knows this is a team that they have had difficulties with in the past.

“There is no doubt about that, we did beat them in the All-Ireland semi-final last year and even then that was tight, they are a good team with some excellent players,” he said.

Even though both sides are assured of progressing Ger makes no secret of the desire within the group to make it directly into the semi-final: “No question we set at the start of the championship to win every game we play and so far we have done that, win on Saturday and we have a month to the semi-final that is our aim, it gives players a chance to recover from any knocks and also to get another good block of work done.”

Galway had a minor stutter early on when they drew with Wexford, that coming just after losing the league final to Tipperary, and unlike Cork they had no provincial championship so they might have been a bit ring rusty but they have recovered and shown impressive form in their subsequent games.

Niamh Kilkenny, Ailish O’Reilly, Niamh Mc Peake, Sabina Rabbitte and Orlaith Mc Grath are others who impressed for Galway and they will relish the trip to Leeside and a venue where they have won before.

There is a slight doubt about Carrie Dolan as she picked up a knock in the easy win over Clare last Saturday.

Cork even without Meabh Cahalane are still very strong, Ashling Thompson, the Mackey sisters Catriona and Pamela, Fiona Keating, Orlaith Cahalane, Amy Lee are experienced enough to know what to expect from Galway and will be ready for the challenge.

With a semi-final spot at stake, playing at home and determined to maintain their winning run, Cork look well equipped to take the spoils.

Tipperary look set to get the other semi-final spot, with Kilkenny, Galway, Waterford, Derry and Dublin despite last week’s heavy defeat in contention for the quarter-final places, which will be played in Croke Park as curtain-raisers to next week’s hurling semi-finals.

Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship

Cork v Wexford Saturday Buffer’s Alley 2pm

With 2 games remaining cork sit top of their group with 3 wins from 3 and face a Wexford side who have yet to record a win the championship, but they did beat Cork when the sides met in the league.

Subsequently Cork recovered and went on to win the league and have shown excellent form in the championship to date.

Along the way they have beaten both Offaly and Westmeath who are both fielding their 1st teams and that is commendable, and in those wins they dug them out when it looked like they were going to lose.

In their last game they ran up a big score against Clare with Lauren Homan leading the way with 3-3, while Cliona Dooley chipped in with 2-5.

Defensively they were solid and have been all season the vastly experienced Niamh O’Leary, along with Olivia Mc Allen, Aoife Barrett and Laura Doyle have kept the best in check.

Like their senior counterparts a win will see them into the semi-finals, with a game to spare, Galway at home on Saturday week, and on current form they should achieve that, with a bit to spare.

Finally on camogie, it was a very sad week for Glen Rovers and the O’Mara family with the untimely passing of 18 year old Sarah Kate a valued player with both minor and senior teams.

The support from the camogie clubs in the county and beyond to the family and the Glen Club was incredible showing beyond doubt what a wonderful unit it really is.

The visit by Camogie President Brian Molly to the family home and to Glen Rovers was also a measure of respect and was greatly appreciated.

Our heartfelt sympathy to all Sarah Kate’s family Tony, Diann, Emily, Isobel, Grace and James her team mates and club officials in Glen Rovers Camogie Club.Rest in peace.


John Cleary’s face was etched in disappointment outside the dressing room on Sunday last after the one point defeat to Louth, a game John said “we should have won.”

He was right, a game they should have won, but only scoring 1-8 is not making it easy to win at this level, and of that only 0-4 came from the attack.

The goal Louth got was preventable, coughing up possession with a sloppy pass that led to Louth’s winning free, soft though it may have been, was disastrous.

Four wide’s in succession all from good positions, came back to haunt them as well, while opting for points when the goal chance was on, showed a lack of killer instinct when the need was greatest.

A setback it certainly is and when asked if he would continue to see out his 3rd year, he is actually heading into his fourth season, if he remains on, as he assumed the role when health issues forced Keith Ricken to step down, John had this to say: “Look I will reflect on it for a few weeks, there is a lot of commitment from everybody on and off the field, but we’ll see, today is tough to take.”

On a more worrying note, the level of performances produced by our minor and under 20 teams is and should be a source of concern.

Across both codes we recorded wins over Clare (minor) who played with 14 for most of the game, and Tipperary (under 20), neither really powerhouses in football.