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Game On

Cork likely to have too much for Tipperary

Wednesday, 15th August, 2018 4:36pm

All-Ireland Camogie Semi-Final
After all the furore over the clash of fixtures, the Cork camogie team have put it behind them and are fully focused on their Liberty Insurance semi-final against Tipperary.
Manager Paudie Murray says it was an unwelcome distraction: “It’s over now but it should not have happened and here the Ladies Football Association must shoulder the blame, but it has not upset our preparation and we are all set for Saturday.”

It will be the third meeting between the sides this year and Cork have won the previous two with ease and are odds-on favourites for a third win and Murray accepts that.

“We cannot do anything about that but what we need to do is guard against complacency, and if we do that and I am sure we will, we would be confident in our ability to get a result.”

The venue, Tipperary enjoy home advantage, is not an issue according to Murray. “No, not really. In my seven years of involvement, we have only lost there once, and I suppose Tipp would not have played there that often anyway.”

There is a wealth of experience in this Cork team from goalkeeper and captain Aoife Murray, Gemma O’Connor, Orla Cotter and Ashling Thompson. Add in Laura Treacy, Leanne O’Sullivan, Linda Collins, Julia White and Catriona and Pamela Mackey and it is easy to see why they are favourites.

Cait Devane, Grace O’Brien, Ciardha Maher, Caoimhe Maher and Mairead Campion are key players for Tipperary and they will relish the opportunity to end Cork’s reign.

However it’s hard to see this happening; Cork have quality in every line, work hard for each other and have pace to burn up front, and it all points to a Cork win and it could be an easy one.

Earlier in the day, in McDonagh Park Nenagh at 2pm, it's Cork v Galway in the All-Ireland Intermediate semi-final.

Galway have enjoyed good success at minor level in recent years and several of these players will anchor this squad, among them Catriona Daly, team captain Ciara Donohoe, Dervla Higgins, Karen Kennedy, Tara Rutledge and Aoife Lynskey.

This is a good Cork team who have plenty of experience with Lauren Callanan, Cliona Healy, Caroline Sugrue, Niamh Ni Chaoimh, Rachel O’Shea and captain Sarah Harrington.

For whatever reason, Galway did not play in the league, but have impressed in their games to date.

Cork will need to at their best to win, if they are that should be good enough to get a busy day for Cork camogie off to a winning start.

The intermediate grades dominate the weekend, and the All-Ireland Under 21 Hurling Final a week later means a number of games were deferred to allow the team get in the best possible preparation for such a huge game.

In intermediate hurling, Caherlag on Friday is the venue for the meeting of Midleton and Ballincollig, and on the back of an excellent win in the last round, the latter should be too strong for the Magpie's second team.

Equally on Saturday in Brinny, Eire Og, runners-up in last year’s final, will be expected to account for Douglas who might be able to call on Brian Turnbull, last year’s Cork minor star, who is making good progress following his injury.

In the premier grade, there's the Round 2 clash of Kilworth and Aghada, where the losers exit the championship. It's a hard one to call but maybe John Looney and Cian Fleming might just tilt the tie Aghada’s way.

Kanturk, having lost in hurling last week, turn their attention to football this weekend with a tricky looking tie against Castletownbere who are always tough championship campaigners; maybe the desire to win a championship encounter might just be the motivation Kanturk need, but it will not be easy.

Cill Na Martra survived a wobble in their draw with Glanworth, who will be boosted by that display, but the odds favour the Muskerry side completing the job this time around.

Ballydesmond and St Finbarr’s meet in Macroom, and when these sides met last year, the city side ran out easy winners; they will be favourites again in this game but they will need to keep an eye on Donnacha O’Connor who is a key player for the Duhallow outfit, but the ‘Barrs should win.

The second round games get underway on Monday night in Blarney at 7pm where Glen Rovers, who were a tad unlucky to lose to Milford in the first round, should be good enough to beat Mallow.

The tie of this round is without doubt the clash of Douglas and St Finbarr’s in Castle Road at 7pm with a host of intercounty stars on duty. The ‘Barrs were recent league winners but will need to improve on their display in losing to Muskerry if they are to extend their season.

St Catherine’s and Cloughduv meet on Wednesday in Castle Road and here the presence of Orla Cotter could give Catherine’s the edge.

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