Waterford senior camogie manager Donal O’Rourke. Photo: Noel Browne.
All-Ireland Camogie Championship Reaction: Donal O’Rourke
Déise boss Donal O’Rourke called for more medical assistance at All Ireland championship games in the build-up to last Saturday’s clash with Dublin. Waterford’s first round clash with Tipperary was abandoned in The Ragg as Tipp forward Nicole Walsh was airlifted to Beaumont Hospital due to a heavy concussion. The game has now been rescheduled for Nowlan Park this Saturday with a 3pm throw-in.
“The Camogie Association let themselves down to be honest with you and more importantly let down the Waterford and Tipperary players,” O’Rourke said last week. “You saw Patrick Bonner Maher, he had a serious cruciate knee ligament injury, he was off the pitch in two minutes. It was so professional. First and foremost, the game was out in The Ragg, I know it’s the home of Tipperary camogie, but Thurles is fifteen minutes in the road where you have the facilities and easy access to ambulances and things like that. The Camogie Assocation need to have these structures in place. To have no ambulance at a game of that magnitude; at any championship game really there should be someone on-call. The players were let down if you ask me.”
The collisions in camogie nowadays are nearly as big as the men’s inter county game due to advances in physical preparation. “The strength and conditioning has gone forward, the players have gone forward, the hurling and the amount of work they put in. Within camogie, there’s a great game waiting to burst out. Everything has gone forward in terms of the players’ preparation, but the association has stood still. That’s what’s letting the players down. To be fair, the referee let things flow and that suited our style. The girls are very aggressive, they work really hard and our tempo is really high. That’s the way we’re coaching them. We’re playing on the edge.”
Post-match, O’Rourke was pleased with the result but maybe not the performance. Three points and a first competitive win since January 20 away to Wexford was the main objective. “A win is a win. We didn’t hurl brilliantly today but happy enough to get out with the three points, that’s all that mattered.”
Player of the match Niamh Rockett was happy with how they picked themselves up from events in The Ragg. “No team came away with any points and it’s not something you prepare for. You prepare for a win, a loss or a draw. When we came away with nothing, it was hard so this was really our first championship match. We’ll take confidence going into the game next week knowing that we can dig it out in the last ten minutes.”