Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Camogie Association is calling on supporters to ‘Go Together’ as they aim to break 25,000 Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Camogie Championships Finals attendance. Early bird tickets are available until Sunday July 28th at www.tickets.ie and in all participating SuperValu and Centra stores nationwide. Pictured at the launch were Waterford’s Niamh Rockett and Caitriona Cormican of Galway ahead of their game in Thurles on Saturday. Photo: INPHO/Dan Sheridan.

All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Quarter-Final
Saturday August 3, Waterford v Galway at Semple Stadium 7.15pm Live on RTÉ 2

Waterford players and management knew deep down that they underperformed in last summer’s All Ireland quarter final against Tipperary. The Déise were 8-1 down after 20 minutes and played catch-up all evening.
“The minute the final whistle went I was so emotional and so upset,” recalled captain Niamh Rockett earlier this year. “I could hear people around me, but I couldn’t contemplate what was going on. I was just in shock.”
Donal O’Rourke couldn’t hide his dismay in the Páirc Uí Chaoimh tunnel. “It’s disappointing to come to a quarter final and just didn’t get that performance out of the girls for whatever reason, I don’t know did the occasion get to them.”

He felt that Waterford were “bullied” on Leeside but they won’t be pushed around anymore. Twelve months on, O’Rourke has made them harder, better, faster and stronger. 2019 recruits Caoimhe McGrath, Shona Curran, Patricia Jackman and Emma Hannon are all teak tough. Another warrior Lorraine Bray has been successfully redeployed to number seven.
Up front, Sarah Lacey has been a lively addition alongside Beth Carton and shot 1-2 against Clare. Annie Fitzgerald is also a year wiser at this level. Carton is still the main supplier of scores with 4-32 and a goal on Saturday from Waterford’s MVP would be worth more than three points to her team. She will swap between centre and full forward like she did against Clare. Their low point totals are a worry, averaging just ten across the five group matches. Lacey, Fitzgerald and Rockett will need to increase their output.
The Déise went with a sweeper when they met Galway in the league, even with the wind at their backs, and will do so again. Jackman is most likely to perform that role. She gets better with every championship game she plays.
Galway are gunning for Croke Park. The Tribeswomen climbed the steps already in March, beating Kilkenny 0-16 to 2-8 in the league final although the Cats exacted revenge in the opening round of the All Ireland. That was their first loss in league or championship this year. They rebounded with wins over Offaly, Limerick and Wexford.
Ailish O’Reilly got 2-4 in the crunch game at home to the Shannonsiders to secure second place in the group. Galway’s go-to forward also found the net against Offaly and Wexford. Carrie Dolan, Noreen Coen and Aoife Donohue are also prolific scorers. Captain and All Star Sarah Dervan is a rock at full back.

Cathal Murray’s team are the undisputed third seeds behind Cork and Kilkenny. They have lost the last three All Ireland semi finals (two to Kilkenny and one to Cork).
Waterford would rather forget their last two championship encounters with the maroon women. 5-28 to 1-10 in 2017 and 4-12 to 0-8 in 2018. The latter was O’Rourke’s first game in charge. “It opened up our eyes to be perfectly honest with you,” he admitted.
The Déise are more battle-hardened this time after playing six weeks in a row and must make a dogfight out of this to stand a chance of an upset. “Every girl would die for each other out on that pitch,” according to Rockett. It will take that type of manic intensity, like they showed in The Ragg on day one, to break into the final four.

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By Tomás McCarthy
Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

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