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CAMOGIE PREVIEW: Ger McCarthy profiles Cork and their National League opponents

May 12th, 2021 4:00 PM

By Ger McCarthy

Cork captain Linda Collins will start the All-Ireland final.

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CORK

Manager: All-Ireland-winning manager in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018, Newcestown’s Paudie Murray enters his tenth year in charge of the Cork seniors.

Key Players: Gemma O’Connor’s retirement is a massive loss. Yet, there is more than enough quality to qualify Cork for the business end of the National League. Orla Cronin and Chloe Sigerson will be expected to deliver the bulk of Murray’s side’s scores while, if available, Katrina Mackey, Ashling Thompson and Linda Collins can help Cork win a first National League title since 2013.

Prospects: Very good. Last year’s beaten All-Ireland semi-finalists should be in decent shape ahead of a new league season. Paudie Murray introduced a number of debutants last term and Cork were unlucky to lose to All-Ireland runners-up Galway in the group stage as well as eventual winners Kilkenny (1-11 to 2-10) in the last four. A year on, there is much to look forward to for Cork in both league and championship.

Did You Know? Before retiring, St Finbarr’s Gemma O’Connor picked up 9 All-Ireland titles and 11 All Stars during a glittering 19-year career.

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TIPPERARY

Date: Saturday, May 15th

Venue: Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Last Meeting: Cork defeated Tipperary 2-20 to 1-8 in the 2019 All-Ireland senior camogie championship group stage on Saturday, June 22nd, at CIT.

Manager: Bill Mullaney’s third year in charge sees the Ballinahinch man looking to build on an encouraging 2020 campaign.

Key Players: Point-scoring machine Cáit Devane’s form will be crucial. Dual players Aishling Moloney and Roisin Howard have also committed to this year’s senior camogie panel.

Prospects: Very good. Tipperary qualified for last season’s National League final after winning all three group matches against Dublin, Limerick and Galway. The scheduled final had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 level 5 restrictions.

Tipperary carried their league form into the All-Ireland Championship. Impressive victories over Clare and Dublin saw them top Group 3 before facing Waterford in the quarter-finals. A 1-12 to 0-10 defeat of the Déise included a crucial Karen Kennedy goal. That win was achieved without Aisling Moloney (suspended) and Orla O’Dwyer (in Australia). Tipp’s chase of the O’Duffy Cup ended at the semi-final stage where Galway emerged 1-11 to 0-8 winners.

Did You Know? Clonoulty-Rossmore’s Cáit Devane once went viral on social media. Devane attempted a shot having dropped her hurley and, without breaking stride, instantly grabbed a new one thrown to her by a club mentor who was standing on the side-line.

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WATERFORD

Date: Saturday, May 29th

Venue: (Away)

Last Meeting: Cork overcame Waterford 1-19 to 0-12 in the opening round of the 2019 Littlewoods Ireland Division One League campaign in February 2019.

Manager: Waterford have introduced a new senior management team for 2021 with Dungarvan’s Derek Lyons in charge.

Key Players: Including a good portion of Gailltír’s 2020 All-Ireland intermediate club winning side, Waterford will look to the ever dependable Beth Carton for scores and fellow All-Stars Lorraine Bray and Niamh Rockett for inspiration.

Prospects: Fair. Last year, Waterford were in the hunt for a place in the National League final with group rivals Cork and Clare before Covid-19 intervened. In the senior championship, despite losing to eventual All-Ireland winners Kilkenny, a pair of group victories over Meath and Limerick saw Waterford qualify for the quarter-finals. Páirc Uí Chaoimh was the venue for the Déise’s narrow defeat to Munster rivals Tipperary.

Did You Know? Úna Jackman scored a goal 4 minutes into injury-time to earn Waterford club Gailltír 2020 All-Ireland intermediate club glory. That goal came a year after Gailltír lost the previous All-Ireland decider by a point.

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