*Ciara Grogan. Photograph: Burren Eye Photograph

EXPERIMENTATION in the league has helped Clare in their preparation for Sunday’s Munster senior camogie semi-final.

Playing the provincial semi-final clash against Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh “will be a challenge but it’s one we are looking forward to and one we will be hitting head on,” explained joint captain Ciara Grogan.

Speaking to The Clare Echo after training on Tuesday evening, the Clooney/Quin woman outlined, “Cork are a strong team, very experienced with a lot of their players there for a while. We are a younger outfit and we have been preparing for this since the league ended”.

A secondary school teacher at St Joseph’s Tulla, Ciara believed new leaders were emerging within the panel. “This is our first year without a number of our more experienced players and we have used the league to give game time to a number of last year’s successful junior team. It takes a while for girls to step up and become new leaders and they have really put in the effort”.

Clare “experimented during the league. A lot were given game time and played in different positions. These players have won Ashvourne cups (third level colleges) and Munster titles with their clubs. The talent is there”, Grogan maintained.

Truagh/Clonlara’s Áine O’Loughlin is the team’s other joint captain. Her colleague Ciara stressed, “the focus this week is very much on Cork. We love playing them and we have had some good performances against them in recent seasons. We have put it up to Cork in a lot of games in recent times. We went to extra extra time with them in the Munster final. The margins aren’t that big. They have a huge amount of physicality, we have a huge amount of fitness and we will be trying to bring that to the table on Sunday”.

She acknowledged, “it’s going to be a busy few weeks for us. The All-Ireland campaign starts against Down on May 25 when we will be trying to get off to a winning start. It’s very important to get that campaign under way with a victory. For now, however, the focus is on Sunday and hopefully we will have a big following. It’s always great to see the fans coming in and we had a few great experiences last year in the Gaelic Grounds and in Semple Stadium. It will be great to see the kids in attendance also so that they can watch the adults play. It has the makings of a great weekend and, hopefully, there will be two wins for 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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