Non-sporting issues dominate Cork ladies' games again

August 18th, 2017 5:06 PM

By Southern Star Team

Paudie Murray

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THE Libby Coppinger issue has meant that, once more, non-sporting issues dominate the narrative ahead of a senior camogie championship game.

As with the infamous Clare-Dublin ‘coin toss' fiasco in 2015, the wider public's attention has only been gained by the fact that dual star Coppinger will have to make a choice between Cork's ladies' football All-Ireland quarter-final or the camogie semi-final, both against Galway.

For Cork camogie manager Paudie Murray, the issue has been a distraction ahead of Saturday's clash in the Gaelic Grounds (7pm).

‘There are people in these organisations demanding respect,' he says, ‘but then they shoot themselves in the foot.

‘You're asking what's going, these things keep happening and you wonder, “Is this for real?”

‘From our point of view as a management, we haven't finalised our team, whereas we probably should have had it done last weekend.'

Cork continue to have injury doubts over Julia White and Niamh McCarthy, while it remains to be seen if Maebh Cahalane will be fit enough to play after missing the final group game over Offaly.

That was on July 15th and a fourth straight win ensured Cork went straight to the semi-finals. Like the county senior hurlers before last week's All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Waterford, they go in after a five-week break but Murray is keen not to make that an issue.

‘If we win, people will say it didn't affect us,' he says, ‘but if we lose then straightaway it'll be held up as the reason.

‘We've no complaints. Training has gone well, as I couldn't have asked for more from the players or the backroom team.

‘Match practice may be an area where Galway have an edge after the quarter-final win, but we had a good game with the Cork U16 hurling team and it was a worthwhile workout. I'm certainly happy with how it went.'

Galway were runners-up to Kilkenny in Group 1, only losing to the Cats. They were impressive in seeing off Tipperary to book their last-four spot and Murray doesn't take their challenge lightly.

‘One thing Galway are very good at is winning the ball, driving at the opposition defence and offloading it,' he says.

‘They have players like Ann Marie Starr, Niamh Kilkenny, Niamh McGrath, Siobhán McGrath, they're all very good and the Galway minors ran away with that All-Ireland, their toughest game was probably against Cork in the semi-final.

‘They're similar to Cork in that they produce very good athletes and it'll be a huge test. Cork will have to go above anything done so far this year and it remains to be seen if we can.'

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