SACRED Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty know that if they complete a hat-trick of wins over St Mary’s of Midleton this Saturday, then they will be crowned All-Ireland colleges’ junior B camogie champions.
The Clon school’s manager, Ciarán Mulcahy, insists his young guns won’t take St Mary’s challenge lightly, even though Sacred Heart have come out on top of their two previous clashes this season.
In the group stages of Munster, Sacred Heart won 4-9 to 1-5 in Clon, and then when the two schools met in the provincial final at Mahon in January, Mulcahy’s charges won 1-10 to 2-0. But he’s adamant that Sacred Heart won’t take their eye off the ball.
‘Complacency is the big thing to watch out for here but this is a grounded group so they won’t get cocky or carried away. They’ll keep their heads,’ Mulcahy says.
‘Even though we beat them twice in the Munster series that’s all forgotten now because this is a new game with a big prize up for grabs so what happened before will have no bearing on Saturday.’
Ahead of the school’s first All-Ireland colleges’ junior B camogie final, 18-time All-Ireland winning legend Briege Corkery popped into Sacred Heart on Tuesday to have a talk with the group. She works locally in the Bank of Ireland.
‘It was great to get someone of Briege’s calibre and standing to chat to the girls. She’s been there and done that at the highest level. She instilled a bit of confidence as well,’ Mulcahy explained.
Captain Daire O’Brien at centre back was a Cork U16 last season, and full back Emma O’Driscoll, corner forward Emma O’Driscoll and wing back Jessica McCarthy are all involved with the Cork U16s this year. The strength of this team, Mulcahy says, is its panel.
‘There is great balance to this team and they can all play ball too. It’s a strong panel. Anyone who you call on to come on will do a job,’ he says.
‘In the All-Ireland semi-final last weekend we were only a goal up with a savage wind behind us and you’d be wondering if it was enough of a lead but the commitment and work rate was unbelievable. This is a tight-knit group.’
In the Munster final against St Mary’s, Emma O’Brien hit 1-7, and high scores have been a feature of the Clon team’s campaign – they’ve scored 23 goals in six games.