Cork captain Doireann O'Sullivan: 'We have a great rivalry with Galway'

Cork captain Doireann O'Sullivan: 'We have a great rivalry with Galway'

Cork's Doireann O'Sullivan and Orla Finn after beating Galway in the 2017 All-Ireland quarter-final. Picture: INPHO/Donall Farmer

CORK captain, Doireann O'Sullivan, is well aware of the danger Galway will pose to her side in the TG4 All-Ireland ladies football semi-final on Sunday.

They will both be bidding for the chance to take on Dublin in the final as they clash at Parnell Park, Dublin, at 1.30pm.

“We have had fierce rivalry with Galway over the last five years or so at county level, and for some of us at club level, so we are very familiar with each other.

“We have also played a lot against each other at underage as well as senior. They have huge pace all over the pitch and they have a nice young energetic team.

“We had to do our homework on them, but a lot of our focus this week and the games is on ourselves. We know our game plan and we want to stick to that and see if Galway can deal with that.” 

Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Earlier in the year, before lockdown, Cork and Galway were the form teams in the league and Doireann added that they were conscious of this.

“Both of us were going well and that has continued in the championship after the lockdown. We have prepared well for this competition, the mood in the camp is good. 

"Galway shone very well and looked very well in the league but because of circumstances, we haven't seen a whole pile of them since that.

“But no doubt they are training very hard and preparing for the game as well as we are.

“There is huge competition for a starting spot in our team this year and the subs that have come on in the games so far added huge energy and pace and we are all singing off the same hymn sheet.

“The girls on the sideline are putting in as much time and energy as the 15 that start so there is no weakening of the team when the subs are made. We have 38 girls training and can only have 30 on matchday so there is huge competition to get into that first, before getting on the starting 15 and that is helping to drive everyone on. Everyone is fighting for a jersey and for a starting position.” 

Up front Doireann, Saoirse Noonan and Áine O'Sullivan have forged a formidable partnership, hitting 6-13 between them in the games so far.

“Saoirse and Áine are very easy to play with and we have been playing with each other now for some time. With that you get to know how the girls play, you know if they are going to take on their player or will be looking to pass.

“We are very comfortable playing with each other and the key is giving the ball to the person in the best position. I don't think any of us care who scores as long as the ball is going over the bar or into the net. No one is selfish up front and everyone tries to find the key pass to ensure we score.

“But there is never much between Cork and Galway, be it camogie or ladies football, games are generally close.

“In Louise Ward and Olivia Divilly they have two of the best midfielders in the country. They are so comfortable on the ball it always gives Galway an easy outlet and we will give them the respect they deserve.

“But as I said, focus on us and our game-plan and hopefully it will see us through to the final,” concluded Doireann.

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