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Dublin: 8°C Friday 15 January 2021

6 players to watch in the 2014 All-Ireland camogie championship

The Liberty Insurance All-Ireland camogie championship starts this weekend, here’s some players who could leave their mark this summer.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

1. Julia White (Cork)

Julia White has packed plenty into her career so far. Now 23, it says a lot about her ability and leadership traits that she was captain when Cork won the league in 2012. Glandular fever ruled her out of the championship however and she had to sit and suffer as the Leesiders lost the All-Ireland final to Wexford.

A really pacey operator, White loves to turn and run at defences. That speed earned her the player of the match award for UL in the O’Connor Cup final last March, despite her having little or no football experience. The Douglas woman had pocketed an Ashbourne Cup medal for camogie with the college just five weeks earlier.

She is guaranteed to appreciate the top-of-the-ground conditions the summer tends to bring and with Katrina Mackey also a direct player with an eye for a goal, Cork will be looking to create plenty of space in their attack during the championship. It would come as no surprise if White ended up bagging her second All-Ireland medal, having been a teenage panellist in 2009.

2. Miriam Walsh (Kilkenny)

The 19-year-old has been added to an already dangerous looking Kilkenny attack with unsurprisingly positive results. Miriam has a brilliant underage pedigree, playing in both the minor and U16 All-Ireland finals in 2011.

Those games both ended in devastating one-point losses but last year was much more memorable, as the Tullaroan player scored five points when Kilkenny claimed minor honours in a replay. That performance earned her a player-of-the-match accolade, following up on a similar award received when she captained Loreto College to the All-Ireland post-primary schools’ title.

That form earned her a call up to Kilkenny’s senior panel and she was introduced in the All-Ireland final last September. She is a firm fixture in the front six now though and scored four points from play as the Noresiders bagged the league at Semple Stadium in May.

Maire McGrath and Miram Walsh Kilkenny's Miriam Walsh (right) Source: James Crombie/INPHO

3. Susan Earner (Galway)

Susan Earner is at the opposite end of the experience scale. In an era of top quality camogie goalkeepers where Mags D’Arcy (Wexford) and Aoife Murray (Cork) are also excelling, the fact that she has been All-Star netminder for two of the last three seasons is notable.

The 28-year-old Meelick Eyrecourt player has a lengthy puckout and is very solid under the high ball, while she has proven her bravery and reflexes with many outstanding saves over the years. Susan pocketed an All-Ireland U16 medal in 2000 and captained Banagher College to All-Ireland post-primary schools glory four years later.

She also won an All-Ireland intermediate medal with Galway that year and made her way onto the senior squad in 2005, when she won a league. Was a vital figure as the Tribeswomen finally put years of heartbreak behind them to win just their second senior All-Ireland last year.

4. Caoimhe Costello (Limerick)

The only player on the list not to be playing senior camogie, Caoimhe Costello seems destined for a glorious future in the game. Like her Limerick compatriot Aoife Sheehan 12 years earlier, Caoimhe was an All-Ireland skills champion at the 2010 Féile.

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Now 17, she has has already appeared in an adult All-Ireland, scoring a point in last year’s intermediate decider. Limerick lost by two points to Galway but are strongly fancied to go one better this time around, particularly with Costello benefiting from that experience and easing the scoring burden that has been on Niamh Mulcahy in recent years.

The Adare sharpshooter has already had a memorable year, captaining Limerick to their first All-Ireland minor A championship ever, following a replay against Cork. Indeed it was the Shannonsiders’ first top tier success at any age group. With Costello in the vanguard, there could be more to come.

Caoimhe Costello with Rebecca Walsh Source: Brendan Gleeson/INPHO


5. Shauna Sinnott (Wexford)

After sustained bout of success, Wexford have begun a transitional phase and while many of the big names remain, there is some fresh talent filtering through. Shauna Sinnott is one of the young guns exciting the local cognoscenti. The 20-year-old has been turning heads with Oulart-The Ballagh for a few years now.

Indeed so highly rated was she that she was starring for the club as they bagged their first All-Ireland in 2012. She was undaunted by the occasion or by sharing a stage with the Leacys, Jacobs and co, so it was only a matter of time before she would get the call-up from Wexford.

That call-up came fairly quickly and she was a member of the squad that completed the All-Ireland three-in-a-row just a few months later. She has clubmate, Helena Jacob as her manager now and is ready to cement her place in the starting side judging by her performances in the league.

6. Grainne McGoldrick (Derry)

The Eoghan Rua totem has been producing the goods away from the spotlight for many years. Derry found the step-up to senior level difficult last year but McGoldrick’s leadership and scoring prowess continued to stand out.

Gráinne has won two All-Ireland intermediate club titles and the centre-forward’s combination with sister and centre-back Meabh is key to both club and county.

The elder sister of Derry footballers Barry and Seán Leo, she has two Purcell Cups with UUJ and achieved a notable feat in winning an All-Star in 2009 while not playing in the senior championship. She finally got to dine at the top table last year, after Derry’s dramatic replay victory over Galway in the 2012 All-Ireland intermediate final. Her workrate and clean striking will buttress the Oak Leaf efforts.

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About the author:

Daragh Ó Conchúir

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