by Therese O’Callaghan
Fiona Morrissey is joint captain of the Waterford senior Camogie team along with Emma Hannon Roche. All-Ireland Intermediate champions in 2015, the Déise are building momentum in their second year at the top level. Fiona gives her predictions for the big games on Saturday.
Dublin v Wexford
Wexford have shown great resilience over the course of the Championship and would be expected to pip Dublin on Saturday. The experienced Úna Leacy has shown great form, adding long range points to her repertoire this season on top of her usual goalscoring prowess. She will be a marked woman this weekend.
Introducing the young blood and enthusiasm of Chloe Foxe and Joanne Dillon to the fray has somewhat eased the transition into 2017 for Wexford having lost some stalwarts of the game in Kate Kelly, and for the moment Mags D'Arcy and Katrina Parrock. Úna, Chloe and Joanne will all be names that will be mentioned time and time again throughout the 60 minutes in Thurles, each possessing their own individual talents but all possessing immense skill and mental toughness especially.
Dublin will not lie down easily either come 5pm, having gained great confidence from the former Kilkenny hurler David Herity, and having benefited from his tactical, effective game plan.
Dublin also possess great leaders throughout the field, particularly in captain Eve O’Brien in the full-back line, and in Ali Twomey who may pop up anywhere in the Dublin forward line.
Faye McCarthy, the Dublin goalkeeper has also show her ability over placed balls from anywhere inside 70 yards. Wexford will have to show great composure and patience in the tackle to reduce their fouls, and most importantly the opportunity for McCarthy to slot over long range frees from the Wexford half-forward line down.
Wexford to win.
Galway vs Tipperary
Galway have had some impressive wins over the course of the championship showing their ability to clock up high scores and exhibiting immense forward play with their versatile forward six.
Their forwards, I would argue, are the hardest to cope with out of all the Senior Camogie teams in this year’s Championship. The Galway management have the luxury of being enriched with height, pace, skill, long-range scoring, and goalscoring threats in their starting six forwards and have great strength in depth on their bench.
Tipperary have a nice blend of experience and youth on their side and will be going into this Quarter-Final with huge momentum from their win against a quality Offaly side. They are a physically strong side with lots of hurling. With Cáit Devane operating again around the Tipperary forward line, and Erena Fryday always putting in consistent performances in midfield and providing both quality ball to her forward line and long-range scores, the Galway backs won’t have an easy day at the office.
Orla O’Dywer is a key player for Tipperary and they will look to her again to make penetrating runs through the Galway defence and open up space. Galway will look to stop the likes of Mary Ryan and Fryday distributing ball into their forward line and keep a keen eye on O’Dywer and Devane to see out the game as winners.
Galway to win.