Cork camogie: Guide to the All-Ireland championship fixtures

Linda Mellerick looks at the Rebels' upcoming championship games and their prospects for the summer
Cork camogie: Guide to the All-Ireland championship fixtures

Cork's Ciara O'Sullivan is tackled by Waterford's Rachel Walsh and Lorraine Bray. They'll meet in the championship this summer. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THE inter-county championship draws were made recently and discreetly put up on the camogie website with no fanfare.

The reason for that is because little attention wanted to be brought to the fact the draws weren’t made until mid-April with the championships due to start on May 21.

Can you imagine the frustration as a manager at inter-county level not knowing who their opponents are four or five weeks in advance of their opener? Game plan aside, from an operational perspective, imagine travelling from Cork to Derry as your first outing with coaches, hotels, warm-up facilities all having to be organised. Thankfully that intermediate fixture isn’t until June 25th.

Initially, Cork’s senior side had three games away, three weeks in a row, to Wexford, Waterford, and Dublin. That was a hard ask and something none of the other counties had to endure. Thankfully, it was acted quickly upon by the fixtures committee and now Cork’s schedule is away to Wexford, home to Clare and away to Dublin before having a week’s break and playing Waterford away and finally Tipperary at home.

It's a tight schedule with the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals down for July 2, 16 and August 6-7. Therefore all the hard training has to be done now. Thereafter it's tipping over.

Many might have been surprised at the tough game Waterford gave Cork in the Munster semi-final last weekend, but I was happy to see it. Aoife O’Neill (St Finbarr's), Ciara O’Sullivan (Newcestown), Emma Murphy, who came on against Galway in the league final, and Cliona Dooley of Ballinora were handed starts.

Sorcha McCartan is still out, having not played since Cork’s league game with Kilkenny in mid-March and Ashling Thompson, Katrina Mackey and Cliona Healy didn’t start. So, more players have been given opportunities now and you either grab that with both hands or not.

Cork manager Matthew Twomey after defeating Waterford in the Munster senior camogie championship semi-final at Páirc Uí Rin. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork manager Matthew Twomey after defeating Waterford in the Munster senior camogie championship semi-final at Páirc Uí Rin. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Cork manager Matthew Twomey wasn’t happy with Cork’s opening 40 minutes but was pleased with the final 20 where Cork’s demeanour on the pitch improved. Consistency in how you approach games is key regardless of the opposition. It leads to a good habit.

Cork were two points down five minutes into the second half and not going well but then they took off. Amy O’Connor scored 1-10 over the hour with six from placed balls, having been handed the free-taking duties further in. Emma Murphy played well with four points.

Chloe Sigerson is getting fitter and up to the speed of games. Fiona Keating is having an unfortunate year with now having injured her finger. Orla Cronin is back training with the panel so there are lots of moving parts in the current setup. Waterford got through for three goals and that’s another important aspect of the game to note and work on.

Cork will be expected to win all of their group games and head straight to the semi-finals. Wexford played in and won the division two league title. The step-up will be significant for them, the speed of the game is a significant difference between levels. Cork-Tipperary should be a great game on July 2. Tipp are so close for so long, but they need to be bridging the gap that narrowly remains before times runs out for this group.

Orla O’Dwyer will be a key player for them if she is available for the championship. However, with the new AFLW season beginning now in August with pre-season starting in June Tipp could lose her for good and what an awful blow that would be.

While we don’t have venues or times, yet the group senior championship fixtures are below.

Group 1:

May 21: Waterford v Dublin; Wexford v Cork; Tipp v Clare.

May 28: Waterford v Wexford, Cork v Clare; Dublin v Tipp.

June 4: Tipp v Waterford; Clare v Wexford; Dublin v Cork.

June 18: Clare v Dublin; Waterford v Cork; Wexford v Tipp.

July 2: Cork v Tipp; Clare v Waterford; Wexford v Dublin.

Group 2: 

Galway, Limerick, Down, Kilkenny, Offaly, Antrim.

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