Cork camogie boss says his players will have to up the gears against Kilkenny

Cork camogie boss says his players will have to up the gears against Kilkenny

Katrina Mackey bursts past Clare's Maire McGrath. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CORK manager Paudie Murray was pleased with his side’s performance against Clare at the weekend.

The victory put them through to the All-Ireland semi-final after a tough battle with Galway last week when they were beaten. 

Now they'll host Kilkenny in the last four clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday week, with the Tribe against Tipp on the other side of the draw. 

"I suppose last week was going to take it out of the players so we’re happy to be in the semi-final at this stage."

The first-half conditions were clearly tough on the players in the Páirc. 

"The wind was gale force, particularly at the far side, I don’t think you’d notice it so much in the stand so we’d take the half time point lead all day long. 

"The instruction at half time was to keep doing what we were doing but to do it that bit faster."

Katrina Mackey’s goal kick-started Cork’s win early in the second half, with Amy O'Connor nailing another two goals after. 

"Yeah look Katrina has had a lot of injuries over the past 12 months but I noticed over the last two or three weeks that she was starting to come so a massive performance.

"I thought the work of our inside line was very good today and we managed to get a couple of scores from it and that aspect I’d be pleased with."

Cork's Saoirse McCarthy is tackled by Clare's Clare Hehir at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last weekend. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork's Saoirse McCarthy is tackled by Clare's Clare Hehir at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last weekend. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Prior to the semi-final draw, Murray said that his side had no control over who they are paired with, and would take the game as it comes 

"We only have control over ourselves and the next two weeks will be number one to get the injuries cleared up and we’ve got to try and bring it to another level particularly. 

"We saw Galway last week, a very physical team. Obviously the weather is going to suit them as we get closer to Christmas. Kilkenny are going very, very good as well so we know we’re going to be under pressure."

Referring to the injuries in the Cork camp, Murray explained Gemma O'Connor, Julia White and Libby Coppinger are particular concerns. 

"Gemma is one, Julia White, two, Katrina Mackey there and Libby is only just coming back from injury so we’ve a lot of things to get right over the next couple of weeks." 

Getting White back in action against the Cats would be a major boost, adding pace and skill to the Cork forward unit.

"Julia is back doing a light jog at the moment, that was only Thursday night so two weeks is probably a long, long call there. 

"I think it’s too early to call, it’s a gradual process."

The ladies and camogie semi-final fixtures clash has been averted with the LGFA switching the semi-final to December 6. 

That is sure to help both teams’ preparations? 

"Oh absolutely I think particularly a semi-final. I think it would be unfair on either one of the teams that was going out second and to the players so common sense came good eventually."

Considering there are a number of younger players in the panel, Murray is happy with how they are progressing.

"The average age is 24. I think what killed us this year is that we didn’t have the summer to develop these players so they’ve to learn fast.

"I think that anyone that came in there is playing well."

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