Sunday 19 May 2019

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Cork Independent

Game On

Cork and Tipperary hurlers try again on Sunday

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019 4:29pm

Cork vs Tipperary

Even though the forecast for Sunday is not the best, this time round the game should be played and the scenario has changed ever so slightly since last Sunday.

Cork still need a draw or a win to secure a quarter-final spot, but Tipperary’s chances of advancing have receded somewhat on the back of the Limerick vs Clare drawn encounter in Ennis.

As Tipperary can only reach four points, and having lost to Kilkenny and Wexford, they need a really big win in Páirc Uí Rinn, and even then that might not be enough.

Will that alter their approach, and will their intense week of warm weather training be a factor?

The other scenario is that if Tipperary win, the reward is another match with Cork a week later to determine what division the teams will play in when the league is revamped for next season.

Having lost their last three games, they will want to end the campaign with a win, and against Cork motivation is not needed.

Will either side change the teams they announced for last Sunday? The Tipperary full-forward line of Callanan, McGrath and O’Dwyer looked potent - the battle with Darren Browne, Damien Cahalane and Stephen McDonnell would or could be interesting.

Cork also named an interesting side; apart from Darren Browne, Anthony Nash and Cahalane's return, Jack O’Connor also got the nod in the full-forward line.

The option to change the starting 15 is there, and maybe the Fitzgibbon Cup players might get a start, while Alan Cadogan, who must be chomping at the bit for a run out, might come into the equation.

Whatever team enters the field, I expect a Cork win, especially now as they have a bit more to play for then Tipperary.

The game will be live on C103 and the County Board have advised that all pre-purchased tickets for last Sunday’s postponed game are valid for the re-fixture, which has a 2pm start.

Cork vs Kilkenny

It’s semi-final time in camogie. A meeting between these two sides is more or less expected at the business end of either the league or championship, more often than not in a final. Cork’s draw with Galway, and the failure of Wexford to field a team, denied Cork the opportunity to top the group.

It is probably good for the game that at least there will be a different pairing in the final - Galway and Limerick meet in the other semi-final.

Kilkenny are the reigning champions, they are going for a fourth successive title having beaten Cork in last year’s final, but Paudie Murray’s team reversed that result in September's All-Ireland Final when Orla Cotter held her nerve to nail a difficult late free.

The league champions were given a serious test in their final group game against Limerick where an injury time point gave them victory.

Michelle Quilty, Denise Gaule, Anna Farrell and Ann Dalton remain key players for Ann Downey’s side as they bid to get the better of their keenest rivals.

Cork have mixed and matched their side throughout the campaign, and as coach Kevin Murray said at training in the driving rain in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Tuesday night: “We have used the league to give players an opportunity to stake a claim for a place on the championship panel and we are delighted with the response.”

Kevin, who missed a few games owing to his involvement with UCC winning the Sigerson Cup, also said the more experienced players on the team continue to set the bar.

“No question, they set themselves very high standards and are an inspiration to others, they drive the team and are always looking for perfection.”

While it is not unusual to be playing Kilkenny, it is a bit different then meeting them in a semi-final. “The desire is still the same, we want to win and get to the final, which will give us another two weeks solid preparation for the final. While the championship is the main focus, we would like to win the league, but first things first as we look forward to Sunday.”

Cork should be along familiar lines with Aoife Murray returning in goal, with Leanne O’Sullivan, Laura Treacy, Chloe Sigerson and Laura Hayes in defence.

Orla Cotter, Gemma O’Connor, Amy O’Connor, Hannah Looney and Orla Collins should also feature, and if Cork can produce the form they are capable of, even if it is early in the season, they should edge what is sure to be another tight contest.

Despite the pairings being known for at least two weeks now, no venues have yet been confirmed for the semi-finals, which given it is the second major competition that the Camogie Association organise, does not reflect well on them.

In Division 2 of the league, Cork play Tipperary on Sunday in Castle Road, clashing with the senior league semi-final, while the Munster Under 16 Championship Final is also on Sunday with Cork vs Tipperary in Kilmallock at 2pm - good planning all around!

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