Cork camogie boss Twomey confident Rebels will end losing streak in major finals

April 29th, 2023 3:30 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Cork manager Matthew Twomey.(Photo: Ryan Byrne/INPHO)

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RUTHLESS – that’s the word Matthew Twomey selects when asked what Cork need to do to end their recent final hoodoo.

The county’s senior camogie team has lost four successive major finals – 2021 and ’22 All-Ireland finals and 2022 and ’23 Division 1 league finals – as the Rebels’ wait for national silverware goes on.

The recent league final defeat to Galway (2-13 to 1-12) hurt, as Cork had been ahead at the break but fell away in the second half. That’s a trend in the other finals, too. In the 2021 All-Ireland final Cork led Galway 1-11 to 0-11 with ten minutes left, but lost 1-15 to 1-12. In last year’s league final against the Tribeswomen Cork led 1-10 to 0-7 early in the second half, but ended up losing 2-14 to 1-13. The Rebels led Kilkenny by two points in last year’s All-Ireland final, but still lost 1-13 to 1-12. Spot the theme? 

‘I have no doubt that we will take that next step,’ Cork boss Matthew Twomey tells this week’s Star Sport Podcast.

‘It’s not a case of us waiting for it to happen, we have to do something about it. 

‘In all of these games it’s coming down to the last quarter; we have been in the games, like last year’s league final when we were six points up with 20 minutes to go, the last day we were two points up with 15 minutes to go. In the last quarter we need to be ruthless, to put teams away. 

‘It is something we have looked at since January, to get that ruthless streak and we thought we were going well up until the league final. 

‘We’d be telling lies if we said we didn’t want to win the league, but the priority was to embed our new tactics and a new system of play. I hope to be judged on where we are in August, not where we were in April.’


Twomey insists that Cork believe they are on the right track, and they are amongst the top three teams in the country, alongside Galway and Kilkenny. Four final defeats in a row is a body blow to the group, but the Cork boss is adamant that they can take that next step and lift silverware.

‘No-one feels the pain more than we do,’ he says. ‘Being in the dressing room after those four finals has been horrific. We try to change things slightly every time. The last two finals hurt the most; the way we lost the All-Ireland final and the league final.

‘We have a sports psychologist, Michelle O’Connor, in with us, and she has been excellent and will be a valuable part of the management from now on.

‘We are not that far away from it. I know the consistency of getting to the last four finals is great but we know we have to go on and win one. We will have to change a few things but we are not pressing the panic button yet.’

Cork’s focus now switches to the Munster championship and a quarter-final against Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday afternoon (1.30pm), the first part of a double-header, followed by the Munster SHC clash of Cork and Waterford. Twomey is wary of the Déise, but a Cork win will set up another double-header on May 6th, a provincial semi-final against Tipperary at Páirc Uí Chaoimh ahead of the Munster SHC meeting of Cork and Tipperary.

The focus has shifted from the league to the Munster championship, and will soon turn to the All-Ireland series – and that’s where Twomey wants his Cork side to be judged.

On the injury front, he hopes to have Ashling Thompson back in contention for the latter stages of the championship, while Katrina Mackey is weeks away from her return.

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