Enniskeane star expects fast-paced final
CORK’S place in a fifth straight Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie final was achieved with a 0-21 to 0-9 semi-final win over Tipperary three weeks ago.
Orla Cronin, player of the match as Cork beat Kilkenny in last year’s final, was among the scorers against Tipp, but, while it was a comfortable win in the end, the Enniskeane player says it was far from straightforward.
‘That was our fourth time this year playing them, so we knew each other very well by that stage,’ she says.
‘Obviously, you hear people saying it’s not easy to overcome the same team twice, let alone four times, so it was a big mental challenge, getting our heads right for the semi-final.
‘We had had a longer break than they had too as they had come through the quarter-finals, I think that showed a little bit in the first half as we were slow to get going.
‘We didn’t get into our flow as soon as we wanted to but that’s a good lesson for the final, we know we’ll need a good start.’
Last year’s final, in which Cronin excelled, was won by Cork on a 0-10 to 0-9 scoreline and a high-scoring classic isn’t expected this time round either.
Preparations for Sunday’s decider have seen Cork use Páirc Uí Chaoimh for training and a key factor in getting past the Cats is breaking down their massed defensive ranks and, as a member of the Cork half-forward line, Cronin has a big role to play in that regard.
‘Their defence is really tight, they have a lot of players back there,’ she says.
‘There’s going to be very little time on the ball, but we prepared ourselves for that last year, we tried to pick off scores when they were available to us.
‘We’ll be trying to do something similar this time but we’ll have to be a bit quicker up front, get the ball away a bit earlier and not get into the ruck situation because they’ll turn you over.
‘Last year, we worked a lot on recycling the ball and not panicking under pressure. You can choreograph moves all you want but a lot of the time you just have to play what’s in front of you.
‘You have to see what the best option is and hopefully it comes off.’
Having completed her degree in physiology in UCC, Cronin is looking forward to taking the next steps towards a qualification in physiotherapy – though with some time off in between.
‘I’m finished my undergrad, I did four years and I’ll be graduating in October,’ she says.
‘I’ve been offered a physiotherapy Master’s in UCC, a two-year course, but I’m deferring that for a year and starting next September.
‘I’m going to take this year out, maybe some travelling but mainly working away and saving some money for the Master’s.
‘I’ll have some time away but I’ll be around by the time the 2019 camogie season starts anyway. That’s the plan, anyway!’