MORE evidence, if needed, that camogie is growing in West Cork is that three Carbery players have been named on this season’s Cork camogie U16 inter-county panel.
Ballinascarthy all-rounder Millie Condon returns for a second year at the age-grade and will be joined on manager Donie Daly’s Cork U16 panel by Clonakilty duo Amy McCarthy and Kate Nolan.
Competition for places was as fierce as ever to make the U16 inter-county panel that contains girls from 19 camogie clubs. But the dedicated work undertaken at grassroots level by Ballinascarthy, Clonakilty, Barryroe, Enniskeane, Newcestown, Kilbrittain-Timoleague, St Colum’s and all the other Carbery clubs is beginning to bear fruit.
To underline the point, this year’s Cork senior panel includes Libby Coppinger (St Colum’s), Orla Cronin and Danielle Carroll (Enniskeane) and Ciara O’Sullivan (Newcestown) while Áine Crowley, Katie Wall and Hannah Sexton (Kilbrittain-Timoleague), Moria Barrett and Claire Kingston (Ballinascarthy) are part of Mark McCarthy’s 2021 Cork intermediate set-up.
The increasing presence of West Cork players at various Cork underage and adult levels comes as little surprise to Donie Daly.
‘Anyone that makes the Cork U16 camogie panel means they are amongst the elite players in the county,’ Daly told The Southern Star.
‘West Cork camogie is very strong right now and has been over the last number of years. After Sarsfields, Clonakilty would have had the largest representation at this year’s U16 Cork trials. That’s testament to the work that is being done there. It is not just Clon because there are other clubs down that direction doing outstanding work.
‘Amy McCarthy was on last year’s Cork U14 panel and I would have come across her a number of times. Kate Nolan is someone I have seen playing on a number of occasions for both her club and division.
‘As for Ballinascarthy’s Millie Condon, everyone already knows how good a player she is and this is her second year on the Cork U16 panel. I have a DVD of Youghal playing Ballinascarthy in a U14 county final from about four years ago and Millie was on that team. She has certainly lit up West Cork with her ladies’ football and camogie skills. Millie always brings work rate and a real intensity to her game. We are delighted to have all three on this year’s Cork U16 panel.
‘As with the Clon girls, Millie’s progression is down to all the hard work and coaching being done at underage level in Ballinascarthy camogie. It is great for West Cork, for Carbery camogie and the players themselves. There is strength in depth in West Cork and right now it is one of the strongest camogie divisions at underage level in Cork.’
Now that the Cork U16 panel has been finalised, the next few weeks will be extremely busy as Daly and his management team intensify preparations for the All-Ireland U16 camogie championship. ‘We only trained as a squad for the first time with all 30 girls last week,’ Daly said.
‘I have to say that we were delighted with both the fitness and skill levels of the girls even though many of them wouldn’t have played with a while. There were two options available to the Camogie Association which they sought a vote on recently. At the moment, the All-Ireland U16 camogie series is due to start on June 11th/12th and run for a total of six weeks.
‘In the normal course of events that would involve group games with the top two in each progressing to the All-Ireland semi-finals and then a final. All things being equal, we could be starting in early June and, if things go to plan, play in an All-Ireland final on July 19th. There is no official word on our provincial championships yet as they might have to be pushed back to (possibly) the end of July or even later.’
The 2021 Cork U16 camogie panel includes Millie Condon (Ballinascarthy), Jennifer Sheehy (Ballygarvan), Caoimhe O’Donoghue (Bishopstown), Emily O’Donoghue (Bishopstown), Bronagh O’Shaughnessy (Blackrock), Maedhbh De Burca (Carrigtwohill), Amy McCarthy (Clonakilty), Kate Nolan (Clonakilty), Amy Sheppard (Cloughduv), Emma Cantillon (Douglas), Edel Sheehan (Éire Óg), Grainne O’Mahony (Éire Óg), Shauna Sheehan (Éire Óg), Aoibhinn O’Neill (Erins Own), Grainne Finn (Fr O’Neills), Grainne O’Neill (Fr O’Neills), Andrea Brislane (Inniscarra), Ellen Crowley (Inniscarra), Amy O’Sullivan (Mallow), Eimear Duignan (Mallow), Jill Connaughton (Midleton), Caoimhe Sheehan (Milford), Keeley Goulding (Rockbán), Ava Fitzgerald (Sarsfields), Kate Fennessy (Sarsfields), Rachel Roche (Sarsfields), Sinead Hurley (Sarsfields), Fiona Twohig (Valley Rovers), Alex Cashman (Youghal) and Aoibhe Daly (Youghal).