PAUDIE Murray is looking forward to leading his Cork senior camogie squad out on to the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium’s pitch for Saturday’s Munster final against Tipperary at 1.30pm.
The main narrative heading into next weekend’s Munster Camogie Championship final does not surrounds Cork’s aim to win back a provincial title lost to Limerick in 2017 but rather the venue for Saturday evening’s showdown.
Páirc Uí Chaoimh will host a first ever camogie Munster decider, something Cork manager Paudie Murray and his squad are delighted with.
‘First of all, getting to play a Munster final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh is definitely something to get excited about,’ Murray admitted.
‘Looking back over the years, Cork camogie has never gotten the chance to play a Munster final in a proper stadium. It is a first in that regard, although we played Clare in this year’s semi-final at Cusack Park in Ennis which was also a first.
‘I think the Munster Camogie board are to be commended for what they have done and it is only right that a Munster final be played in Stadium, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, befitting the occasion.’
Cork won their 27th All-Ireland Camogie Championship last year despite suffering a shock defeat to Limerick in the Munster final. Murray’s side recovered to overcome their provincial conquerors 1-27 to 0-11 in the All-Ireland Championship group stage and went on to defeat Galway (semi-finals) and Kilkenny (final) to once again lift the O’Duffy Cup.
‘We don’t need any extra motivation to win a Munster title this Sunday,’ Murray commented.
‘Looking ahead to the Tipperary game, they have definitely gotten their act together this year. They put up a great performance in the semi-finals against Limerick. This is a game we are looking forward though as we are only two weeks away from the All-Ireland Championship. There is no doubt about it but we will need a really good performance to win.’
So far this season, Cork managed to overcome Waterford away from home 1-12 to 0-11 prior to putting up an impressive tally of 1-21 in seeing off Clare in the Munster semi-finals. Plenty food for thought then heading into a final that Paudie Murray believes Cork will need to be at their best to win.
‘Looking at the Waterford game, our composure was key that day,’ said the Cork Camogie manager.
‘We were brought into a very narrow pitch in Modeligo and a lot of things went on that day, were said from the sideline that certainly weren’t very nice for our players to hear. I was happy with the way we responded to that and looking at the semi-final; our speed in the forward line was quite good.
‘As well as that, our defence tightened up considerably over the last couple of games and the league campaign as well. We conceded 1-8 against Clare the last day but we are going the right direction.
‘The thing about Tipperary is that they always put it up to us and seem to raise their game when they are playing Cork. I think they are more organised this year and it is only a couple of years ago they were beaten by Wexford in an All-Ireland quarter-final. Still, we (Cork) are looking forward to it and playing at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.’