Offaly camogie 2017

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Offaly camogie 2017

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:52 pm

I went to see the Offaly camogie team take on Cork last Saturday. I must say, the impression was a positive one, Cork are All-Ireland contenders and that Offaly were still in contention to win the match with ten minutes remaining is encouraging.

There was a tricky diagonal wind in Birr and while Offaly used that wind to build an early lead, they were hit with a setback midway through the first half when Cork got in for a goal. Offaly dropped their heads during the third quarter, and it didn’t look hopeful when they found themselves in half-time arrears. Offaly got stuck in and the longer the second half went on the more Offaly dominated territory and possession, they just didn’t convert that superiority into scoring chances.

Offaly have been in good form this year, and their first round win over Limerick has left them in with a good shout of a quarter-final slot. The second round defeat to Wexford will cost them second place in the group, a quarter-final against Dublin or Clare, and likely progression to a semi-final. It’s not going to be costly, indeed it is now to their advantage, but not having a home match until round 4 out of 5 rounds is careless fixture making. It can be done.

So, all to play for against Tipperary in Birr on Saturday. A win will see Offaly progress to the quarter-final, unless Limerick can beat Wexford in Bruff. Wins for Limerick and Offaly would see Offaly, Limerick and Wexford tied on points (each with two wins), two would qualify and currently the scoring difference is WX -6, OY -11, LK -18. Offaly could still advance of they lost, once Limerick didn’t get anything in Limerick, but with Tipperary’s scoring difference at -16, Offaly couldn’t lose to Tipperary by more than two points.

Mairéad Jennings is a competet goalkeeper, in her first season on the Offaly team, she made a couple of good saves against Cork dominated her square and pucked out well. The highlight for me was a fine aerial fetch by full-back Tríona McDonald which prevented a likely goal as there was a forward lurking behind. Michaela Morkan is the best hurler in Offaly at the moment.

It was interesting that Offaly chose to follow Cork’s ‘third midfielder’ outfield in the second half. There was no-one outnumbered and Offaly didn’t allow cork to exploit the space close to goal. Linda Sullivan thrived in the outfield role too. And Sarah Harding impressed when she came on as a first-half sub and should be in line to start on Saturday.

Offaly’s half-forward line of Debbie Flynn, Mairéad Daly and Arlene Watkins has pace, is willing and able to run at a defence to draw frees, and can take a score. They played some delightful handpassing sequences too. Siobhán Flannery is powerful and leads the attack very well, though you’d like to see the corner-backs show in front a bit more. Tina Hannon’s availability to line out could make all the difference here.

It is encouraging too that half of the Offaly team were not on the scene during the 2008 – 2011 era when Offaly won their Junior and Intemediate All-Irelands. Momentum has been maintained and it is a tribute to the work that is being done in the camogie clubs and in the county. Hopefully this can be maintained into the future. Come to think of it, if the GAA, Camogie and LGAA merge into one body as is constantly mooted, does that mean the Offaly GAA Board assume responsibility for underage camogie development? If that is the case, then the merger should be resisted to the very end.

Saturday’s match is at 5.30pm. You should try to go. This is the one Offaly team that will not let you down. I wish them well and I look forward to Saturday.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
Plain of the Herbs
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Re: Offaly camogie 2017

Postby sam88885a » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:07 am

Good post poth . Camogie has made huge strides and they are improving .The have no facilities ,no funding but the have real spirit and pride in the jersey .The lads could learn a lot from them ,No excuses just work hard and get the best out of each other.
im guilty of not get to game to support then so Saturday ill be there.
Best of luck girls.
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Tipperary 3-13 Offaly 2-13

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:07 pm

Regrets, they’ll have a few after a three point defeat means Offaly exited the All-Ireland championship by a single point on scoring difference.

Carrying a scoring difference of -11 to Tipperary’s -16, Offaly could have been beaten by two points and still qualify (once Wexford beat Limerick, which they duly did), but a three point defeat would have seen Tipperary through. 65th minute, Offaly four points in arrears, Offaly sent Siobhán Flannery back on (she was replaced midway through the second half in a switch that didn’t make sense) to take a free 40m out, which she duly pointed. Final whistle blew on the puckout and Offaly were out. Management should have known the permutations. Not something you’d be saying in the changing room before the match, but should have been mentioned during the week.

The real hammer blow came a mere 15 seconds into the second half when Tipperary scored their third goal to go three points in front. While Offaly enjoyed plenty of territory and possession, they spent the second half chasing the goal, running into crowded areas, driving down the middle, and the territory and possession didn’t lead to scores. And too many scoreable frees were sent wide. Pushing forward, into the town end, Offaly left two much space behind then and with Tipperary hitting them on the break, the visitors pushed their lead out to six points at one stage. Even a few stray points then would have made all the difference.

There were highlights for Offaly in a game that was physical and intense, an increase of several notches on last week’s match against Cork. Twice Offaly went a goal behind and twice they pulled the goal back, the first when Siobhán Flannery finished expertly with a ground shot. The second was a stupendous Tina Hannon effort, a dipping shot from around the 20m line that flew into the top corner. Watch it on The Sunday Game tomorrow night.

Mairéad Jenings made two fine saves in the first half, Róisín Egan was improved on the last day, Michaela Morkan drove forward repeatedly with no regard for her own safety, Tina Hannon put in a huge first half, Sarah Harding justified her call up, Mairéad Daly is a useful forward who is good in possession, Arlene Watkins caused problems with hard runs at the Tipp defence, while Siobhán Flannery showed well for the ball, was dangerous and sholdn’t have been taken off.

Offaly gave it everything and remain the Offaly team that will not let you down. Just a pity the year ends in regrets.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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