It is a clash of camogie dynasties in Granagh Ballingarry on Sunday afternoon as the Limerick senior champions take on Tipperary’s Burgess Duharra in the Munster club semi final.
Fresh from completing a five in a row, Tomás Maloney and his Granagh Ballingarry side face a Tipperary outfit who have won their last six county championships. A clash of titans if ever there was one. Something has to give on Sunday and Maloney is expecting a stern test.
“It’s going to be an extreme battle. Burgess are the favourites for the game, maybe favourites for Munster and possibly the All Ireland. They’re a serious team with a lot of experience.
“They’re together six or seven years the majority of their panel, with a good few young girls sprinkle sprinkled through with six or seven county players with that experience so its going to be a difficult task for us but one that we’re looking forward to and one that we’re going to try and get over the line if at all possible on Sunday.”
— G/B Camogie Club (@granballcamogie) October 25, 2017
Granagh Ballingarry will have their home supporters there in numbers to watch them but Maloney doesn’t think this will add extra pressure but rather hopes the home support will help inspire his team to victory.
“I’m not sure if its adding extra pressure, maybe a few of the girls might be thinking like that. I don’t think so, I think it’s actually a great incentive for us that we got the home draw, it’s a bit of a boost. As you say we might get a bigger crowd at home and hopefully they might cheer us on and get us over the line.”
Burgess Duharra are the standard bearers of Tipperary camogie and having just come off the back of completing six county championship titles in a row, they will be looking to add the Munster crown to their collection. Maloney has seen them in action and knows his side will have to curtail their scoring ability if they are to give themselves a chance on Sunday.
“They put up big scores in all their games in the Tipperary championship all year. They’ve got some serious forwards. We wont be able to allow and to give them time and space on the ball. If we do that we’re in trouble straight away.
“If we keep it tight we’d be hoping that we can maybe push on with 10 or 12 minutes to go being at home with the home crowd and the fitness to get us over the line. We’re going to need a bit of luck and the bounce of the ball on the day.”
All in all it points to an epic game of camogie on Sunday with the winners having a great shot at the Munster title. Throw in, Granagh Ballingarry at 1pm
Meanwhile across on the North side of Limerick city Dave O’Neill and his a Na Piarsaigh side are busy preparing of a Munster Junior camogie final against Clanmaurice of Kerry in Coolyroe on Sunday afternoon. Speaking to Sporting Limerick O’Neill says his team reacted well their county title and quickly turned their attention to the Munster Championship.
“We got a good reaction from the team after winning the county final. It didn’t take long to re focus on the munster championship and we put in a great performance (in the semi final), I think or best first half performance of the year was against Eire Óg and kicked on from there with the training and the attitude as well so everyone’s looking forward to Sunday”
Sunday’s final is the culmination of a long hard slog for this panel of players who have been in training since the start of the year. Combining work, study and other commitments is not always easy but O’Neill says the squad are relishing a shot at Munster glory.
“It’s another competition in the Munster championship and the girls are really looking forward to it. I think the fact that we got the two week break after the county final was a huge help. It takes a few days to re focus and we probably needed that going into the Eir Óg game and we got that extra week and from there the girls were really up for that Eir Óg game and it showed in their performance on the day”
Na Piarsaigh have played Clanmaurice when the played in the Limerick club championship a few years ago so they will not be a totally unknown quantity. O’Neill knows his team will have to hit the ground running if they are to get the win on Sunday.
“We played them in a Limerick championship game a couple of years ago and they were good then and probably better now. They’re experienced, they have been to Munster finals and won Munster finals at junior. We know that they’re a strong team, we know that we’ll have to be at our very very best but that’s what we hope we’ll be and we hope that we can win the Munster cup”
Throw in at Feohanagh Castlemahon GAA, Coolyroe on Sunday at 2pm.
You can listen to the interview in full with Tomás Maloney and Dave O’Neill on the link below.