Wexford manager Stellah Sinnott now realises the benefit of such a shaky start. “”The two losses in the first two games made the girls realise that we weren’t invincible and that we were no different to any other team. We would have to win games the same way as everyone else, this was very good and gave everybody a real kick start.””
The two losses sparked a revival by the Model County as they won four in a row, notching up an impressive 16 goals and 57 points in the process. After last year’s historic win Sinnott believes her side still have the hunger. “”We have a lot to prove to not only ourselves but the other teams that we were worthy Champions last year. It’s a big game for us, we desperately want to get through to the final to show everyone last season wasn’t a once off,”” Sinnott said.
The Tribeswomen will have an edge over Sinnott’s side as they have already beaten them once this season and the Wexford manager sees the danger in Galway. “”In many cases Galway are very similar to the 2007 Wexford team, I see a lot of similarities in both teams. They have had a very strong run in the round robin part of the Championship, which a lot of people weren’t expecting and that’s what we were like last year. They are a fantastic side and it will go down to the wire.”” Sinnott added.
The second semi final sees old rivals Cork and Tipperary go head to head. Until last year Cork and Tipperary had between them won every Camogie All-Ireland since 1997. This season Cork have showed no signs of a Championship hangover following last year’s Final defeat to Wexford. They stormed through the group stage of the Championship recording five wins including a nine point win over Tipperary.
Tipp secured their semi final spot on the last day as they gained a point against Galway. John McGrath has had to rebuild a Tipp side that was decimated by injuries and retirements but now the future looks bright for what is a young but experienced team. “”It has been a big year in Tipperary camogie, the team we are developing is a young enough team with only a couple of older players and our aim at the beginning of the year was a semi-final.””
McGrath believes his side can push on now following their last four qualification. “”While we’re delighted to be in a semi we don’t want to stop here either but it’s all about your performance on the day in the semi. I don’t think it has anything to do with how the other team plays, it’s your performance and how well you play that’ll be the difference between the teams at the end of the game. There is no doubt that Cork have been, and certainly are, the team to beat this year,”” McGrath said.
In the Gala Junior Camogie Championship Clare, who suffered last minute heartache in the 2007 Final against Derry, take on Laois. Both sides will be aiming to secure a place alongside Offaly in this year’s Croke Park final.
Saturday 16th August
Gala All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Semi Finals
Cork v Tipperary – Nowlan Park, Kilkenny – 1:30pm
Wexford v Galway – Nowlan Park, Kilkenny – 3:30pm
Sunday 17th August
Gala All-Ireland Junior Camogie Championship Semi Final
Clare v Laois – Banagher, Offaly – 2:30pm