BY DENIS HURLEY
MANAGING the Cork senior and intermediate camogie teams, as Paudie Murray does, might be considered doable if he had a ‘normal’ job, 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.
Given that he runs Murray Browne Auctioneers with former Cork hurler Alan Browne, the workload is even greater. Paudie, who is from Kilnaur, north of Dunmanway, isn’t looking for any sympathy, though.
‘Last week, there was probably very little done,’ he says.
‘From when I get up in the morning until I go to bed, I’m flat out between work and trying to get ready, but it’s going to be that way. It’s a good complaint because it isn’t often that you get to two All-Ireland finals so you might as well take it while it’s going.
‘It was the goal, our focus was to get back to Croke Park and so anything less than that would have been a disappointment.’
The Cork intermediate side take on Meath in their All-Ireland final at 2pm on Sunday, while the senior team will look to wrest the O’Duffy Cup back from Kilkenny at 4pm. Having lost to the Cats in last year’s decider, Cork also fell to them in this year’s league final and also went down in the Munster final against Limerick.
The losses didn’t keep Murray up at night, though.
‘The league has never interested me,’ he says.
‘We have always used it to develop players and to give them a run. Our aim for the league was to find new players, which we did, I think the league was good to us.
‘The league final – okay, we lost by four points but when I went back and analysed it, the two goals Kilkenny got, both were over-carried by eight, nine steps to my mind. If the referee was doing his job, they wouldn’t have been allowed, it’s there for anyone to see.
‘If you took those out of it, we did okay. Granted, we owned the ball and couldn’t shoot but you have to remember, with Kilkenny playing ten behind the ball, we are going to have more of it, a bit composure on the day would have got us through.
‘I think we got a lot out of the league so I was quite happy with it. The Munster final, you’d be disappointed to lose any final but we did 13 sessions in 15 days going into that so it was a heavy slog to get ourselves ready for the group stages of the championship, with Tipperary away the first day. We were training with an eye to that.’
While he praises the members of both panels for how their respective campaigns have gone, he feels that Cork will be underdogs in the two finals.
‘The attitude has been fabulous all year,’ he says, ‘and the atmosphere within the groups has been very good, certainly better than last year.
‘It’s a more relaxed environment and you can see that now by talking to the players, they’re totally chilled out whereas last year there was a bit of tension around the place.
‘The other side of it is that I don’t have to play down these finals. With Gemma (O’Connor, injured) out on the seniors, you expect one result; Meath played senior league so they’ll go into the intermediate final as strong favourites.
‘All we’re really concentrating on is just going up and playing to the best of our ability. If that’s good enough, it’s good enough and if not, there’s very little we can do.’