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You have got to hand it to Bríd Gordon; her timing is pretty good. Having only received adult recognition with Wexford at the beginning of 2010, when JJ Doyle called her into the intermediate panel in one of his first acts as manager, it was mid-way through the season when her performances earned a call-up to the senior squad.
It was a stunning introduction as the Yellowbellies finally shook off the tag of one-season wonders by following up their 2007 All-Ireland success and going all the way once more at the end of Gordon’s maiden campaign. They won the National League earlier that term for good measure.
It was the beginning of a golden era, as they repeated the double the following year and completed a rare championship three-in-a-row in 2012. Gordon could have been forgiven for thinking that this whole inter-county lark was easy.
“I only came in in 2010 so I experienced three years in a row of achieving and winning the All-Ireland” she recalls now.
“Obviously the last few years we’ve been just there or thereabouts, pipped in a semi-final. You have to learn that side of it too and you have to work hard to get there.”
It certainly didn’t come easy for the Blackwater star, who despite representing the county at all age groups, was 22 before she got the senior nod. Even then, it took some time to cement a starting berth. Now, she has the experience and respect of her peers that made her a logical choice for new manager, Colm McGee as captain.
Having had to knuckle down to reach the highest echelons of the game, and then being part of a recent transitional period involving changing management (four managers in the past three seasons) and personnel (the retirement of a number of elite performers), means that she really appreciates the good days.
And the current League campaign has provided a couple of those, although the 12-point defeat by Limerick clearly still rankles.
“So far we have been happy enough in terms of how we have been getting on. We have been missing the Oulart girls who won the All-Ireland themselves so they’re only coming back to training this week.
“We had a win over Offaly and were happy with that result. Obviously we travelled to Limerick and were disappointed with the result we had there but I suppose we learned, and the management learned a few things that we need to work on and improve from that game.
“Then Tipperary last week. We were very happy to get the win there so we’ll be (travelling) to Galway this week and we’ve nothing really on our minds only hopefully to come away from there with the win and to qualify for the League semi-finals.”
Group 1 of the League is extremely tight, with Limerick and Galway joint top on five points, and Wexford on their tails with four.
Ultimately it means that Wexford have to win in Ballinasloe on Sunday (3.15pm).
“There’s a lot of people that have retired and there’s still a few players that are unsure if they’re coming back in but we’ve a few intermediate players that have stepped up to the mark and done what was needed. It would be great to qualify and push forward to the semi-final, to try give them a bit more experience. Obviously if we could get the win or reach a final at the early stages (of their careers) it will motivate them and drive them on as well.”
Gordon wasn’t sure earlier in the week if the Oulart contingent would be available for selection but these two teams have a tremendous recent history. You get the feeling that if they took each other on in tiddly-winks, it would be competitive.
“We’ve had our fair share of games over the years. It’s always a great battle between the two teams and nobody likes to lose so I’m sure both teams will be turning up on Sunday looking for the win. It will be a tough win.”
The 27-year-old Irish and geography teacher at Coláiste an Átha in Kilmuckridge is in the minority amongst inter-county camogie players in that she is married, but there has been no dilution of her dedication to the cause.
“I only got married last year so he was well used to me being gone four or five nights a week. I can’t say it has changed me yet as a player. The commitment is the same, it’s still 100% at the minute but that’s not to say that won’t change in the next few years.
“But this year, we have one thing in mind and that’s the All-Ireland in September this year. Hopefully we’ll be there.”
Irish Daily Star National Camogie League Division 1 Group 1
14:30       Offaly v      Limerick St. Rynagh's GAA, Offaly                        Referee: Ray Kelly      
15:15 Galway v  Wexford St. Brendan's Park, Loughrea                      Referee: Alan Lagrue      
Irish Daily Star National Camogie League Division 2 Group 2
14:30 Clare v  Kilkenny Clonlara                                                      Referee: Mike O'Kelly      
17:45 Derry v  Cork Owenbeg, Derry                                        Referee: Owen Elliott      
Irish Daily Star National Camogie League Division 2 Group 1
13:30 Galway v  Wexford Kilnadeemna/Leitrim GAA                        Referee: Fintan McNamara      
14:30 Kildare v  Antrim Naas GAA                                                     Referee: Ger Browne      
14:30 Laois v  Westmeath O'Moore Park, Portlaoise                          Referee: Justin Browne      
Irish Daily Star National Camogie League Division 2 Group 2
14:30 Kilkenny v  Cork Mooncoin                                                     Referee: Richard McNicholas      
14:30 Tipperary v  Meath The Ragg                                                      Referee: John McDonagh      
Down v Waterford postponed – Conceded by Down
Irish Daily Star National Camogie League Division 3
14:30 Carlow v  Roscommon Carlow GAA Training Centre, Fenagh      Referee: Michael Ward      
14:30 Dublin v  Limerick St. David's School, Artane                         Referee: Éamon Cassidy      
Irish Daily Star National Camogie League Division 4
14:30 Meath v  Cavan Drumree, Meath                                          Referee: Gerry McGough      


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