Gailltír captain, Claire Dunne with the cup and Clonduff’s Paula Gribben at the launch of the AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Club Championship Fina in Croke Park this week. Photo: INPHO/Dan Sheridan.
Captain Claire Dunne feels that Gailltír have unfinished business heading into their AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Club Championship Final clash with Clonduff.
The Waterford side have made it to the big dance at Croke Park following a 3-8 to 0-12 win over St Rynagh’s of Offaly, while the Down champions saw off Craughwell of Galway by 1-8 to 0-9.
Dunne feels that her side will be using the pain of what happened against Eglish in the semi-final of two years ago as motivation at Croke Park on March 3.
“Beating St Rynagh’s was a huge moment for us,” says Dunne at the AIB All-Ireland Senior and Intermediate Camogie Club Championships media day. “Two years ago, we got to the final four and lost to Eglish of Tyrone by a point. We have unfinished business in this competition and our plan was to make it to an All-Ireland final, so we’ve achieved that goal.
“When the full-time whistle went against St Rynasgh’s, it was pure relief, but we knew we had it in us. It was still a ‘pinch me’ moment. Straight away you’re thinking about Croke Park, and it’s on your mind: ‘I can’t believe I’m going to be playing in Croke Park’.”
Gailltír become county camogie champions for the second time in three years after a 1-17 to 2-13 victory over De La Salle in a rip-roaring final at the WIT Arena and went on to lift the Munster title after a 2-10 to 0-6 win over Eire Og of Cork — thanks in part to goals from Aoife and Annie Fitzgerald.
CROKE PARK FACTOR
Clonduff will provide the opposition at Croke Park and Dunne is in little doubt of the size of the challenge awaiting the Waterford outfit.
“No team reaches an All-Ireland final unless they are good,” she says. “It’s going to be a huge challenge, but we are up for it. The Croke Park factor is there but we already had the anthem before the semi-final, so we’re used to having to stand up for that before a match. It’s good to have that experience so you don’t get distracted by it in a final.
“We have an extremely skilful bunch of players and for 60 minutes, it’s going to be flat-out all about hooking and blocking and doing everything we can to get the team over the line. Of course, you’d have nerves, but we have a lot of faith in the panel of 32.
“Playing at Croke Park is huge, I’m 28 and I’m going ‘wow, I’m here’. I’m coming closer towards the end my career and I never thought I’d see the day!”