Friday evening at the Carlow County Council offices was set aside to honour the achievements of the All-Ireland-winning Myshall team at a civic reception but, with so many of the players representing Carlow in next Saturday’s National League Division 4 final, it was no surprise that talk centred on the possibility of the county winning promotion to Division 3 writes Kieran Murphy of the Carlow Nationalist.
Carlow keep their eyes on League prize
After losing last year’s final to Dublin, the set-back spurred them on to All-Ireland glory but when a new season came along, it was back to the lower division where they recorded easy wins over Kildare (2-13 to 0-2), Tyrone (2-12 to 0-3) and Cavan (1-14 to 0-6). Wicklow were also in the same group but there are clearly problems as the Garden County conceded four walk-overs.
Carlow captain Tara Wilson is determined there will be no slip-ups this year. “Last year Dublin came at us from the start and surprised us. We fell apart then but we came back and won the All-Ireland. This year we haven’t even considered the championship and we are determined to win this league,” she said on Friday night after the achievements of Myshall had been recognised.
“We know that we are not a Division 4 side. Just look at our results. We have won our games convincingly. It is time to put this right.”
She is saying all the right things. For an outsider, looking at Carlow’s performances to date, there can only be one result. Tara doesn’t see this as an easy chance of picking up yet another national title.
“We played Tyrone in Carlow this year and they are strong. We are not going out with any ideas on our head. You don’t win any finals easily. We are going to go out and work hard. Hopefully that will be good enough to win this game.” There is massive spirit in the squad. Mick Lillis is getting the kudos as manager but Wilson says spirit and positive atmosphere is binding the management and players together.
“It is not just one person. Mick Lillis has worked us hard; Nuala (Quirke) is there every night. Seamus Kelly is a brilliant coach and Linda Kenny (Secretary Carlow County Board) offers great support and does so much work. Kathleen Thomson (Team Liaison Officer) is always available,” said the appreciative captain. “We have worked hard and winning keeps everyone interested. For Carlow, we need to get promoted,” she says.
Camogie National League Division 4 Final
Carlow v Tyrone
Cusack Park, Mullingar
Tyrone captain Niamh Gavin and Carlow captain Tara Wilson pictured at Croke Park last week ahead of this Saturday's National League Division 4 final in Mullingar Picture: Caroline Quinn