Cork camogie dream team: Plenty of midfield and attacking talent to choose

Cork camogie dream team: Plenty of midfield and attacking talent to choose
Síle Burns gathers the ball from Limerick's Finola Dore. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THIS week we select the best Cork camogie team of the last 40 years.

Today we’ve come up with five midfielders and 12 forwards to make the line-up, Mary Newman and I pick. On the editor’s instructions I had to include myself, which is a strange situation, but then again so is the whole Covid-19 shutdown.

Many of these players were versatile and played across both lines.

MIDFIELDERS

THERESE O’CALLAGHAN: A player who worked extremely hard and loved the nonstop action as she endlessly moved around the field. A great ability to catch and deliver the ball and was a strong determined hurler who never shied away from the tough tackles.

ASHLING THOMPSON: An extremely strong and athletic player matched with a great hurling ability.

Very difficult to disposes and has a tremendous strike off both sides lending to her scoring some magnificent points from midfield.

LINDA MELLERICK: One of four Cork players selected on the camogie ‘Team of the Century’ in 2004. Led Cork to two All-Ireland senior titles. Linda always wanting to be in the thick of the action, her trademark was her long dashing solo runs. 

(Written by Mary Newman).

VIVIENNE HARRIS: Vivienne’s style of play looked effortless as she glided up and down the field. Showed incredible balance with speed and natural hurling ability. Won five All-Ireland titles in a glittering career.

ORLA COTTER: A consistent performer for Cork over 14 seasons Orla is another player whose style of play is effortless. Always available to take pressure off her defence and advance forward picking off wonderful points. Her free-taking was impeccable.

Orla Cotter fires over a point from play against Tipperary. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Orla Cotter fires over a point from play against Tipperary. Picture: Larry Cummins.

FORWARDS

MARY O’LEARY: A magnificent striker off her left-hand side, a great opportunist and an faultless free taker. Often took up a position around the edge of the square where she added the finishing touches to anything within reach.

FIONA O’DRISCOLL: A superb team player and played with great intelligence. A nifty forward, Fiona had great vision and used this to set up and take scores. Her huge energy level saw her cover open spaces well.

LYNN DUNLEA: Lynn was known as a goal-poacher supreme and had a great natural talent. Given half a chance she was away and had the ball in the net. A great first touch she used her strength to her advantage as she stood up to challenges. She was also a proficient free-taker.

Lynn Dunlea takes her point during the All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Maurice O'Mahony
Lynn Dunlea takes her point during the All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Maurice O'Mahony

MARIAN SWEENEY: Fearless and enthusiastic were the hallmarks of Marion. A versatile player who could play in any position, she always maintained a high standard in a glittering career. Her runs as she picked the ball and ran at opponents saw her cause endless problems.

PAT MOLONEY: Pat had a very distinct style of play. She ran at defences and stretched them to their limits. Her speed, style and skill were a joy to watch. She started as a midfielder before moving to attack where she made a great impact.

COLETTE O’MAHONY: A skilful forward who grabbed scores as well as being a superb free-taker. Showing nerves of steel, those who witnessed it will never forget her three goals from frees in the All-Ireland semi-final of 1993 against Kilkenny.

IRENE O’KEEFFE: A slight player with a steely determination and an acute goalscorer. A player who never gave up, Irene was the scorer of two goals inside two minutes in the 1998 All-Ireland final victory over Galway. Five All-Ireland medals between 1992 and 1998.

JENNIFER O’LEARY: Jenny was one of the most stylish players to wear the jersey for Cork. With lighting space and a ‘shimmy’ that no defender could master she skipped through defenders at ease becoming one of Cork’s greatest forwards.

BRIEGE CORKERY: Briege covered every blade of grass on the field of play for Cork. Such was her versatility she was selected in defence, midfield and the forward line in a stellar career. A player of incredible energy and with great speed she holds seven All-Ireland medals and six All-Stars.

KATRINA MACKEY: When you see Katrina heading for goal there is only one outcome: goal. She has a clinical finish. Added to that is an intense work-rate and an ability to pick off points with ease. Five All Ireland titles and five All-Stars is testament to her consistency over the years.

SÍLE BURNS: A strong player with great balance it was hard to shift her off the ball. A cool composure in front of goal scoring some top-class goals from tight corners. She was a consistently good performer for Cork even though her inter-county career was short compared with others.

Scored two late points under pressure in the 2010 All-Ireland semi-final to earn Cork a dramatic draw.

Mary Geaney signs autographs at the All-Ireland camogie final.
Mary Geaney signs autographs at the All-Ireland camogie final.

MARY GEANEY: Mary was a multi-talented player. She captained Kerry to the All-Ireland football title in 1976 and Cork to the All-Ireland camogie title in 1980 as well as being a member of the Irish international hockey team. An extremely intelligent player, particularly around the square, where she became a prolific scorer in the red and white.

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