*Caoimhe Carmody. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE’S senior camogie manager is confident they will match Cork this weekend.

Fresh from overcoming the All-Ireland champions Kilkenny by two points in the opening round of the Very Ireland National Camogie League, Clare make the trip to Páirc Uí Rinn where they face off with Cork in a repeat of last year’s provincial final.

Behind the scenes there are changes to the management of either side with Davy Fitzgerald no longer involved with the Rebels while his son Colm and Conor Dolan have left their roles with Clare where they served as coach and joint manager respectively.

John Carmody is of the belief that Clare head Leeside in a strong position after their positive league start. “We’ll be full of confidence going to Cork, we don’t fear Cork. The camogie Division 1 is a fantastic product, that game came down to the wire, I’d encourage supporters to come and see the games, the quality and these players are role models, they are professional athletes almost, five days a week and the sacrifice they make to wear the county jersey, they are a credit to future generations of Clare players, hopefully we will get a decent crowd the next time we play here, I think it’s Dublin on the 22nd of March before Clare play Limerick in the football”.

How they responded to an initial Kilkenny comeback which included 0-04 without reply at the beginning of the second half was very encouraging to the Kilmaley man. “What pleased me most is that Kilkenny came out, they had the four point lead wiped out in five minutes, we were thinking they could push on but we knew we had the players on the bench to come in and freshness to it and by God we got that impact.

“Once Orlaith Duggan and Linda Daly came in, that’s no disrespect to girls who came off and had put in a huge shift but we got the lift from the bench coming in. We learned from last year’s experiences where we drew games and lost games by a point when we didn’t push on and win games, that was the most pleasing aspect is that we really dominated the last twenty minutes into the breeze. We made plenty mistakes and if we can eliminate them going to Cork we will be in with a shout in that game”.

A commitment to their gameplan was referenced by Carmody when reflecting on their victory against the Cats. “When you’re playing the All-Ireland champions who came with a full-strength team if you’re not going to match them on the breaking ball you will not be in the game so we were very conscious with that, we were delighted with the intensity the girls brought to it, delighted they stuck to the gameplan when the game was beginning to go against us, we worked the ball through the lines and worked some good scores, scores were hard to come by but the scores we got were quality scores. All in all, it’s a very pleasing win. The All-Ireland champions coming to Cusack Park and great for the girls to get to play in front of the crowd, I think the crowd got behind our girls in the last ten minutes and it certainly played a factor, those are the margins”.

Playing games in Cusack Park is a big plus for boosting the profile of the game, he maintained. “I want to compliment Deirdre Murphy for allowing us in here today and the use of the facilities, we’re thrilled to play in this environment with a crowd filling in, a good experience and they will grow for us”.

Carmody added, “Ladies sport is on the rise, thankfully we’ve a great County Board behind us, it’s coming together with the GAA Board and we’re a step ahead with the integration in Clare”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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