Loughmore-Castleiney native Fr Peter Brennan is guiding the fortunes of the Tipperary camogie team this year. No stranger to success, the holder of two All Ireland U21 medals with Tipperary, numerous county hurling and football medals, and Harty honours with Templemore CBS, he has current inter-county hurler James Woodlock among his backroom setup.
When the Premier County host neighbours Clare in Division One of the National League on Sunday (Cashel, 2.30pm), they not alone will be entertaining their Munster rivals, but there is sure to be a big welcome for Toomevara man Bertie Sherlock.
Bertie is a key member of Davy Fitzgerald’s backroom team in Waterford, but the physical trainer is also the main man behind the Clare camogie team for 2009. This is a big coup for the Banner ladies who as a result of winning the All Ireland junior title last September are back in the senior grade.
Having not played at the top level since early 2000, Deirdre Murphy, who was captain of last season’s successful side, and is also the Regional Development Coordinator for camogie in Munster, says there is æhuge regard’ for Sherlock in Clare.
“”The training is excellent,”” she reveals. “”We are delighted to back up senior, and everybody is working very hard. We are looking forward to the Tipperary match. We can’t wait to test ourselves. We will find out what the standard is like, and then we have to match that. We know we still have a lot of work to do.””
While they are without corner back Cathy Hally and Amy Colleran, they can call on rearguard specialists Siobhan Lafferty and Dee Corcoran, while up front Carina Roseingrave has been in tremendous form. She will be joined by Claire McMahon, Claire Commane and goal-scoring hero from last year’s memorable All Ireland decider, Shonagh Enright.
The Blue and Gold have Ashbourne Cup and Shield medallists Therese Shortt, Laura Young and Fiona Kennedy, along with regulars Claire Grogan and Joanne Ryan to lead the home challenge.
The other Division One tie sees Galway – fresh from their win over All Ireland champions Cork – travel to Ballyagran where they will meet Limerick (3pm).
There are some exciting ties in Division Two with Waterford at home to Galway, Tipperary meeting Clare, and a northern derby between Antrim and Derry.