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'If this Kilkenny team doesn't beat Cork, there's something seriously wrong with them'

Cork boss Paudie Murray is fearful of Kilkenny in Sunday’s Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final.

Cork camogie boss Paudie Murray.
Cork camogie boss Paudie Murray.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CORK BOSS PAUDIE Murray believes his Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie champions are extremely vulnerable ahead of Sunday’s semi-final clash with Kilkenny at Walsh Park.

The last four encounter pits last year’s finalists against each other but the goalposts have shifted significantly since last September, Murray explained.

And the Leeside supremo has installed Kilkenny as hot favourites to end his own team’s interest in the 2015 campaign.

“If this Kilkenny team can’t beat this Cork team, there’s something seriously wrong,” Murray declared.

On paper, there certainly appears to be substance to Murray’s argument.

“The way I look at it, we’re going down playing a team that’s scored 21 goals and 72 points in this year’s championship,” he reflected.

“You can make the argument that they weren’t playing one of the so-called stronger teams but I would look at it another way.

“If any of the other stronger teams were in the same position as Kilkenny, there’s no way that I could see them racking up that kind of score.

“Look at their forward line, with Denise Gaul, Ann Dalton, Katie Power, Michelle Quilty, they’re serious players.

Michelle Quilty 14/9/2014 Michelle Quilty is a big danger to Cork. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“Just look at their subs – Jacqui Frisby, Shelly Farrell, Áine Connery, Kate McDonald, Mairead Power, Aoife Neary, Aisling Dunphy.

“If they were with us, they would most certainly be playing whereas we have 6 players starting on Sunday for the first time in an All-Ireland semi-final.

“Some of those six weren’t even on our panel last year and one of them didn’t make the intermediate team.

“So we’re in transition but we’ll go down, give a performance, empty the tank and see what happens.

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“All you’re looking for now is a performance and to gain a bit of experience.

“It took us three years to win an All-Ireland but it might take this Cork team another three years.

Anna Geary and the Cork players with the O'Duffy cup Cork captain Anna Geary, now retired, celebrates with the O'Duffy Cup last September. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“But we’re in the semi-final of the intermediate championship as well against Kildare, and there are 18 and 19-year-olds in that panel.

“There’s a long way to go yet but things are starting to happen. We were worrying there for a while.”

Kilkenny are 5-6 favourites with the bookies to gain revenge for last year’s All-Ireland defeat, and Murray reckons those odds are right.

“I was doing a comparison of both teams from last year.

“Kilkenny have lost one player but we have brought in a number from last year’s intermediate team.

“I think we’re down 13 players and Eimear O’Sullivan, our Allstar and player of the match in last year’s final, is out injured.”

Cork also have to deal with the headache of dual stars Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley lining out for the county’s ladies footballers on Saturday evening.

Briege Corkery celebrates after the game Briege Corkery won All-Ireland senior football and camogie medals last year. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

And Murray accepts that it’s “impossible” for both players to have fully recovered in time for Sunday following their big ball exertions against Galway.

“It’s impossible, no matter what. God Almighty help me, unless the women have something special that we don’t know about.”

Murray is unhappy with the dual fixtures arrangements for the weekend, and recalled that Buckley and Corkery were “a shadow of themselves” when Cork lost the Munster ladies football final after playing camogie against Offaly earlier in the day.

“I think the two of them went to Mallow that evening and were a shadow of themselves,” he said.

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