Linda Mellerick: Walkovers at the top level don't do Cork camogie any favours

Ballincollig and Douglas didn't fulfil their final fixtures in the senior group stages
Linda Mellerick: Walkovers at the top level don't do Cork camogie any favours

Courcey Rovers' Aisling Moloney is tackled by Douglas' Denise Harrington during the SE Systems Cork Championship at Castle Road. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

WE are at the quarter-final stage of the senior camogie championship.

Inniscarra and Cloughduv did battle last night, St Finbarr’s, Killeagh, Sarsfields, and Courcey Rovers are in action today, in Castle Road, and Seandún and Éire Óg meet on Monday next in Cloughduv.

All four games were down for consideration this weekend, but with football clashes and other matters, the board accommodated the change to Friday and Monday.

The group stages offered up some good clashes, some runaway victories, and a few walkovers.

Walkovers are never good and while clubs and divisions did everything in their power to field, they didn’t and will incur sanctions. There are a number of repercussions when teams don’t field.

It was fortunate that the withdrawals didn’t affect the group placings and the teams that advanced would have done so regardless. But it compromises the competition and some clubs didn’t get the games they should have got.

But we’re at the knockout stages now and today is going to be a great afternoon in Castle Road.

Then there’s a two-week break before the semis on October 9 and the final on Sunday, October 23.

 Meabh Cahalane, St Finbarr's, in action against St Catherine's. Picture: Larry Cummins
Meabh Cahalane, St Finbarr's, in action against St Catherine's. Picture: Larry Cummins

Éire Óg and Cloughduv will be very pleased with their campaign. They’ll want to keep going, but are the underdogs and if their runs end here, then so be it.

Both teams improved as the campaign went on, in particular Éire Óg, who took the scalp of St Catherine’s, which was a big one, and they also beat Enniskeane.

Disappointment for Douglas, Ballincollig, St Catherine’s, Ballygarvan, Enniskeane, and Newcestown.

Ballygarvan will be disappointed to have got just one win from four, including their defeat to debutants Fr O’Neill’s. Likewise Newcestown.

Group A, as predicted, provided the best of the third-placed teams, so three emerged from that group: Inniscarra, Killeagh, and Courcey Rovers. That was certainly the group of death, with Glen Rovers and Douglas losing out.

Maybe if Douglas weren’t in that group and hadn’t suffered such heavy defeats it wouldn’t have shown up the massive gap between them and the cream of the crop. Ballincollig likewise in group C.

SUCCESSFUL

The off-season is always an interesting time on the inter-county stage to see who is leaving managerial set-ups and who is coming in.

Brian Dowling is set to take charge of the Kilkenny senior camogie team for a fourth consecutive year.

Dowling has overseen a successful period since his appointment after the 2019 season. A two-time All-Ireland winner with the Kilkenny hurlers, Dowling took over from Ann Downey, having previously served as a coach and selector. Unsurprisingly, it was unanimously ratified at a recent Kilkenny board meeting.

Interviews took place recently in the search for the new Tipperary senior manager.

The position became available in July, when Bill Mullaney stepped down after five years in charge.

Tipperary camogie PRO Geraldine Kinane said there had been great interest in the role and they were putting together a panel for the interview process, which commenced a couple of weeks ago.

Waterford’s manager, Derek Lyons, has stepped down from his position after two seasons in charge of their senior side.

The grapevine is that the players influenced his decision. That’s a surprise, as Lyons guided Waterford this year to their first All-Ireland semi-final appearance since 1959.

They produced a strong showing in July in Croke Park, losing out to Cork by 0-15 to 0-10 in the county’s first last four showing in 63 years.

In 2021, Waterford contested the quarter-final stage, losing to Tipperary 0-17 to 0-11.

We have yet to hear if Cathal Murray will remain as Galway manager.

He was ratified for a three-year team in 2020, so his time is up, but if he puts his hand up it’ll be snatched off.

He has done wonders for Galway camogie and winning the intermediate title this year was a nice consolation for him, after losing the senior semi-final to Kilkenny.

Matthew Twomey remains at the helm in Cork.

Ashling Thompson gets her knee operation next week. Matthew will be all over that and with Linda Collins back home and available for next season and hopefully Orla Cronin also back to her best, Cork are there or thereabouts again, after losing by a point in a thrilling final two months ago.

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