BOUYED by two recent wins in the Glen Dimplex senior championship and with home venue, Waterford will feel they can get one over on Cork and really make an impact in this year’s championship.
They’re sure to have their periods of dominance but Cork should win their fourth group game. Despite a first-round two-point loss to Dublin, Waterford responded with a 3-18 to 0-9 win over Wexford and a 1-16 to 0-13 over regressing Tipperary to secure second place to Cork with just an eight-point scoring difference.
That shows a Waterford side not too far off the mark. Beth Carton, a household name in camogie, Niamh Rockett and captain Lorraine Bray will lead the way. And it will be a physical game, of that there is no doubt.
After three weeks on the bounce, Cork welcomed a weekend off before they head into their final games with Waterford and Tipperary, a home venue on July 2.
Hit with a number of injuries over the past few months, bad fortune continues in the Cork camp. Sorcha McCartan, out since mid-March has just recently resumed training and made brief appearances in games for club and county but she dislocated her finger at Cork training on Sunday morning.
Laura Treacy will remain out for a few weeks with a knee injury, she possibly won’t be called back into action until the All-Ireland semi-final, should Cork go the direct route, as is expected.
Orla Cronin is back. Cliona Healy has finally got back into a matchday jersey after a prolonged hamstring injury. She came on in just the 16th minute against Dublin but is flying in training and so is sure to now start. She will be a welcome addition back into a forward line that has seen a bit of change from game to game.
Kate Wall started in place of Emma Murphy against the Dubs while Ciara O’Sullivan got 20 minutes or so with the return of Hannah Looney a big plus and also coming in on 60 minutes. While Hannah may not start against Waterford, she is sure to play a respectable part of the game to get her back to match fitness with reports that she has returned from New York trim and fit.
Katrina Mackey’s opportunism for two cracking goals against Dublin will do her confidence the world of good. While getting just a point on the scoresheet against Clare her work-rate and distribution was excellent. But forwards like to score themselves too and Mackey should go into Walsh Park with a spring in her step.
Cork look to have what they perceive as their strongest six forwards ready to line out for this one with Cronin, Fiona Keating, Chloe Sigerson, Cliona Healy, Amy O’Connor, and Mackey all available.
Meabh Murphy to her credit has grown with every game at right corner back, the experience gained during the five-game round-robin series invaluable. She will complete a full-back line that contains dual players Libby Coppinger and Meabh Cahalane, who line out with the footballers on Sunday.
Ashling Thompson may drop back to centre-back in place of Treacy and I think that’s a good decision. Leave Laura Hayes and Saoirse McCarthy in their wing spots where they excel. And Thompson is pretty good at roaming in a defensive role.
Who will partner Katie O’Mahoney at midfield?
Effort from the forwards back when not in possession is good. Winning their own puck-outs is something that does need work.
The game in Walsh Park has been pushed back to 5.30pm at the request of Waterford with Cork obliging.
Cork manager Matthew Twomey isn’t taking this game lightly: "Waterford had a poor opener against Dublin but they’re on a good run. Their win over Wexford was very impressive and they should have beaten Tipperary by far more than they did so we’re under no illusions as to the challenge that awaits us."