CORK’S BID FOR three All-Ireland senior camogie titles in-a-row has been boosted with news that two nine-time champions are on board for an 18th season.
Veteran goalkeeper and 2018 captain Aoife Murray and record-breaking 11-time All-Star Gemma O’Connor have both committed to another year with the Rebels.
Murray, who has eight All-Star awards to her name, captained her side to another dramatic All-Ireland final win over Kilkenny in September with a single point separating the top two as the modern-day rivalry lives on.
Ann Downey’s Cats ended their bid for three in-a-row in 2016 and completed that feat themselves in Division 1 of the League this year.
But with back-to-back All-Irelands under their belt, the focus is very much on a first O’Duffy Cup three in-a-row since 1973 next year for Paudie Murray’s charges.
The manager — Aoife’s brother — revealed the news to the Irish Examiner, ahead of his eighth season at the helm.
Aoife Murray and Gemma O’Connor with President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, in September.
Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO
“It has helped the dressing room greatly in that they are keeping standards high in there,” Murray said.
“We wouldn’t have achieved what we have achieved in recent years only for those players. And I include Rena [Buckley] in that. Briege [Corkery] coming back two months before this year’s All-Ireland final gave us a great kick because she brought a huge level of experience and a small bit of madness too, which was probably good at that time.”
It comes as another boost to the Cork camogie fold after 18-time All-Ireland winner and dual star Corkery also committed for 2019, as first reported by The42.
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She returned to the panel ahead of the All-Ireland semi-final against Tipperary in August after an almost two-year absence from both codes.
Corkery’s son, Tadhg, in the cup in September.
Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Murray also added that he had his mind more or less made up about staying on for 2019 as the final whistle blew in Croke Park in September.
“At the beginning of the year, I had decided this was my last year, irrespective of us winning the All-Ireland or not. That changed after this year’s All-Ireland final,” he said.
“You have the possibility of three-in-a-row. We failed in that regard in 2016. There is a small bit of trying to right the wrongs, really. Second of all, when you are dealing with the bunch of players that I am dealing with, it is not easy to walk away from them either.”
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