Clonoulty/Rossmore's Courtney Ryan and Clodagh Quirke with Drom & Inch's Miriam Campion and Aoife McGrath. PHOTO: MIKE RYAN

Drom benefitting from Loughmore momentum in senior camogie final

CAMOGIE: Tipperary Senior Championship Preview


Camogie Grounds, The Ragg
Saturday 19th September
Throw-in @ 3.30pm (E.T.)
Referee: Mike Ryan (Nenagh Eire Og)

County final weekend has finally arrived in Tipperary, with the senior camogie championship reaches its climax after weeks of action as Drom & Inch and Clonoulty/Rossmore go head-to-head this Saturday in their bids to claim county honours.

It is unusual to see a senior county final without the name Burgess/Duharra in the fixture but all things must come to an end, as this will be the first year since 2011 they haven’t contested the final and this is down to Clonoulty/Rossmore’s excellent performance in the semi-final in beating the north ladies after a titanic tussle.

Clonoulty/Rossmore manager Ciaran Hammersley acknowledged the high-quality nature of the game and he was delighted they got over the line to clinch their place in Saturday’s final.

“It was a very good game,” he said, acknowledging the win over Burgess/Duharra in the semi-final.

“I suppose we knew we had to bring a really big performance to beat a side like Burgess/Duharra and thankfully we held out in the last ten minutes to get over the line.”

This will be the sides second meeting of the year and Drom may have a certain psychological edge going into the game, having already met in the group stages in Round 1, a match where Drom prevailed on a score line of 3-12 to 0-13, but Hammersley admitted that his side never got into top gear on the day and will be hoping it’s a different outcome next time out.

“I don’t think we played well the first day against them,” he bemoaned.

“We were disappointed with our performance, particularly in the second half, but I think we’ve improved an awful lot since, game on game we’ve gotten better as the championship has progressed and you can see that in the girls.”

Certainly, Clonoulty/Rossmore have improved and they went on to come second in the group with a number of good wins over Nenagh Eire Og and Annacarty, and with Cait Devane, in particular, along with Kayleigh Davern and Casey Hennessy, doing damage up front, they are posting big scores which they will need to re-produce on final day.

An eight-point margin is a significant scoring difference will be difficult to make up against an opponent playing as well as Drom & Inch are, but Ciaran Hammersley feels that there is more to come from his side and he is believes that the team's defensive effort has been a feature this year, and he anticipates they will be far meaner in this area than they were in the sides last clash in the group stages.

“One of the big changes we’ve made since that first defeat is that we’ve tightened up defensively and that was really on show the last day against Burgess. It was the platform that won us the game really,” he said.

“I think we just have to focus on doing the simple things well and get a good start, put the pressure on to try and stay in the game as long as possible and take our chances when they come – which I think we’ve been doing in the last few games so that will be key.”

Drom looking to retain

Drom & Inch come into this final in fantastic form having coasted through the group stages before recording an easy win over Toomevara in the quarter-final, but any hope of complacency for Clonoulty will have evaporated with an incredibly stiff test against Cashel in the semi-final.
“It was a tough, tough match,” captain Aoife McGrath acknowledged.

“To be fair to Cashel, they have some very good young, pacey players and they really ran at us the whole time and gave us a savage match. They really left everything out on the field and we had to be at our best to beat them.

“We knew how tough it was going to be, they’re a very good team and maybe we needed that tough battle going into the final.”

The mid ladies have been a measure of consistency in their games to date but despite this, manager Pat Ryan is convinced there are things to work on going into the final and feels they will need to improve again to get over Clonoulty, despite having already accounted for their opponents this year.

“I think the scoreboard flattered us that day, it was a lot tighter than the margin of victory,” he suggested.

“They’re a good side you know, they’re back in the final again and they’ll be looking to go one step further this year, but we’ll be leaving no stone unturned going into this game and hopefully we can do it.”

Drom & Inch have a formidable team on paper with the McGrath’s and Niamh Treacy from the Loughmore/Castleiney wing of the club in what is a magical time for the area. The evergreen Joanne Ryan is still going strong and along with Miriam Campion all experienced operators at this level, but Joanne Ryan is conscious the serious performance from Clonoulty’s Cait Devane and believes they will have a big job on trying to curtail her influence and McGrath says her team are hungry to see this out.

“Last year was fantastic for the club to finally get over the line,” she said. 

“Look, winning it once is great but once you win it once, you want to win as many as you can and we’re going to give everything to do it again on Saturday.”

The avoidance of second season syndrome this year for Drom & Inch has been a real feature, having had to toil so long to finally de-throne Burgess/Duharra, and they seem hungrier than ever as they come in search of back-to-back titles. Should they fire in the forward line it would take a monumental effort from Cait Devane and co to outscore their opponents in a shootout. Verdict: Drom & Inch

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