Cork stalwart Briege Corkery says she milked 400 cows on Saturday morning before setting out for Limerick and her side’s All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Monaghan at the Gaelic Grounds.
A three-point victory ensures that the reigning champions remain on course to retain senior honours for the 11th time in 12 years, and Corkery prepared for the Monaghan fixture in a way that she says is natural for her.
“Yeah, I was working this morning. It’s what I do every day and I like to stick to normality so I milked the cows this morning and went back to bed for half an hour,” said Corkery.
“I would do that before most games. Maybe not next Sunday (the All-Ireland Camogie final where she will line out for Cork against Kilkenny), I’ll be up in Dublin. It’s my job and my routine so I enjoy doing it.”
The St Val’s player hit four crucial scores for Ephie Fitzgerald’s side, the last of which came at a crucial point in the second half, following four unanswered points from Monaghan. But despite the significance of her scores, she insists that point taking is not her strongest asset.
“I don’t think I’ll shoot again for the rest of the year. I’m not normally the shooter but look, they went over. Some days they don’t, some days they do and today they went over, so we’re just delighted to be back in Croke Park. I think as a unit and a team, we played really well.”
Dublin will provide the opposition on All-Ireland final day in what will be the third consecutive senior decider between these teams. And Corkery is predicting a battle to materialise between the familiar foes on September 25th.
“Once championship started we said we have six hours to play and we’re down to the last hour of those six. We’re just gonna try our best for that hour. We’ve a tough competition against Dublin and we’ll just have to give it 100 per cent and see what happens.
“They know us, we know them but every year is different. One team is going to be stronger than the other. I think it’s going to be tit for tat in three weeks’ time but that’s what finals are all about. We’re just going to have to keep the heads down for the next couple of weeks.”
Monaghan manager Paula Cunningham expressed her disappointment at the small crowd that turned out for the second set of football semi-finals.
“There could be more (at the games). That was two great games and that stand should have been full today. The football this year has been awesome. Even the provincial finals, maybe if they had been televised as well and if we tried to promote them as much as this stage of the year. It’s an area they could look at.”
Monaghan registered 14 wides, thanks in large part to a biting wind swirling in the Gaelic Grounds. But Cunningham paid tribute to the Monaghan team for the resistance they showed in the face of defeat.
“Conditions were tough and (we were) playing into the breeze in the first half. We got back into it and showed great character but unfortunately they just kept coming up and kicking scores to keep us out of the game. We tried hard and I can’t fault the players today.
“Credit where credit’s due, they’re All-Ireland champions for the last number of years and they’re just a phenomenal group of players.
“If you said back in January you’d be contesting against a team like Cork and be within a kick of a ball of them, you’d be saying ‘that’d be awesome’. But when you see how good the players are and work they put in, you feel we could have won the game and we should have won the game.
“You feel more pride in defeat in the way the girls conducted themselves off the field and on the field today, they’re a fantastic group of people and I’m proud to be associated with them.”