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Break welcomed as Glen Dimplex Championship enters key period

Thu 20th Jun

Daragh Ó Conchúir


Cork are already assured of a place in the knockout stages of the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland senior camogie championship and Galway are close to joining them before the last round clash between the Group 2 rivals that is expected to determine which of the pair will progress directly to the semi-finals as table toppers.

The intense nature of the fare to date means last weekend’s break was very much welcomed by both camps.

Three rounds in a fortnight places strain on mind and body, while also restricting what can be worked on at training. For the Rebels, who are All-Ireland champions, it was even more testing given they went directly from a successful Munster campaign into this series.

Méabh Cahalane (above) has been getting accustomed to playing full-back following the hamstring injury suffered by Libby Coppinger that required surgery, as the Leesiders have cantered to victory over Wexford, Down and Clare.

For round 4 – the now annual Pride Round to highlight diversity and inclusivity- Cahalane is expecting a considerable challenge from Division 1B League champions Dublin, who are currently in a strong position to claim the third qualifying spot in the group.

The game takes place on Saturday at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (2pm), and after a good block of training, the St Finbarr’s All-Star defender – eldest of a trio of sisters from the famed Gaelic games family on the panel – is optimistic that Ger Manley’s squad are ready for the challenge.

“It was five out of six weeks (playing for us) so you can’t get through a huge pile at training,” said Cahalane of the busy schedule through May and the beginning of June.

“You’re going week-to-week at games. I felt last week we got a good bit done at training and again tonight. It probably gives a few people with niggles and things like that a chance to rest too.”

“The Cork (GAA) county board have been very good to us. We’re in the gym once a week (at Páirc Uí Chaoimh) and for the majority of our home championship games, we get the option of Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Páirc Uí Rinn so playing in those places I think it really suits our forwards. Hopefully we can work that to our advantage on Saturday.”

“Once we beat Clare we knew it was job done that we’d qualified but an objective would be to go straight to the semi-final. We know we’ve two huge tests ahead of us but we can only take it game by game and by going out and hopefully performing against Dublin and getting a result, that will get us one step closer to getting to a semi-final.

Galway manager, Cathal Murray placed an emphasis on giving as many members of the panel as he could time on the pitch in the opening phase of the competition, building competition for places as Clare come to Kenny Park this Saturday (3pm, live on Official Camogie YouTube).

Galway manager, Cathal Murray (INPHO – James Lawlor)

“The first three games was all about getting girls on the field, getting minutes into girls, getting girls a chance,” said Murray on Galway Bay FM.

“It’s a big panel. There’s a good few of them playing intermediate, a few with Leaving Certs and a few injured but it was important for us to get as many players on the field over the first three games as we could.

“It’s nice to play championship camogie and a lot of girls put in a massive amount of effort for little enough game time. I think we’ve got everyone now game-wise bar Ava Crowe, that was doing the Leaving Cert, and unfortunately our two goalies, Laura (Freeney) and Fiona (Ryan). Everyone’s training really hard, everyone’s doing really well.”

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