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08 Dec 2021

PREVIEW: Drom & Inch and Clonoulty face off in camogie decider yet again

PREVIEW: Drom & Inch and Clonoulty face off in camogie decider yet again

Cora Hennessy of Clonoulty faces off with Drom & Inch captain Aoife McGrath.

FBD Insurance County Senior Camogie Final

Drom-Inch V Clonoulty Rossmore, Saturday November 20th 1.00 in The Ragg.

After a pulsating 2021 FBD Insurance Senior championship all roads lead to the County Camogie Grounds in The Ragg this Satuday to see who will be crowned the champions.

Despite both teams suffering defeats in the group campaign few can argue against the belief that the two best teams have reached the final in a repeat of the 2020 final.

On Sunday Drom-Inch will look to make it a coveted 3-in-a-row while Clonoulty will be firmly focused on putting recent heartache behind to win their first ever senior county title. A fascinating game lies in store between two clubs who have built up a recent rivalry as the two top teams in the county.

Both sides met in the opening group game with Drom-Inch enjoying a 1-15 to 10 point win. Both sides were beaten by Annacarty before going on to record wins over Thurles Sarsfields and Toomevara.

In the quarter finals Drom-Inch defeated Silvermines while Clonoulty had a key win over Burgess-Duharra 1-11 to 0-7. In the semi-final Clonoulty reversed their group game result to beat Annacarty 14 points to 1-09 while Drom-Inch overcame Cashel 13 points to 1-05.

Both sides have progressed with each game showing great steel and determination to overcome tough opposition in the knockout stages. Neither side will feel that they have played their best camogie yet and will hope to produce the perfect match winning display in the final.

Maureen Ryan has moved from wing back to full back this year and along with Eimear Cahill and Maria Connolly in the corners have formed great protection for Tipperary senior goalkeeper Caoimhe Bourke.
Aoife McGrath and Niamh Treacy have been excellent to date in the half back line while Mairead Eviston will hope to regain her starting position after loosing her place through injury.

The Drom-Inch defence have impressed in all their games so far but will face their biggest test against a Clonoulty attack spearheaded by Cait Devane and which includes Casey Hennessey, Eimear Bourke and Avril Quirke. How Clonoulty’s attack will fare against Drom-Inch is one of the many questions that will be answered on Saturday?

Although without the services of Clodagh Quirke who cruelly suffered a cruciate knee injury for Tipperary in the league, Clonoulty have gained Cora Hennessey from the team that lost last year’s decider.

A former Tippeerary senior player and All-Ireland club winner with Cashel (in the years when Clonoulty had no adult team) Cora is a huge addition to her native club back hurling in midfield after an absence of a few years having had two children. Her performance and leadership skills made her the managements choice for captain and in midfield she has proved to be a real powerhouse and an added scoring threat.

She is partnered in midfield by another experienced player in Bernie Ryan and together they form a formidable pair. For Drom-Inch Mary Burke is a key player in midfield with her energy, strength in the tackle and drive key components.

Up front Miriam Campion and Eimear McGrath will pick off their points while Michelle Woodlocks pace and Anne Evistion’s strength and work rate will keep the Clonoulty defence on their toes. Courtney Ryan will lead the Clonoulty defence at centre back where she has been instrumental all year.

Eimear Loughman will operate on the wing or in the corner and will make her marker earn any score she gets, while Katie Murphy and Moira Kinane have also been enjoying a good run of form of late.

In goals for Clonoulty Rossmore is Therese White a sister of Michelle Woodlock, Therese who is married in Clonoulty Rossmore hurled all her life alongside her sister for Drom-Inch winning senior county titles in 2008 and 2011. In 2021 she will be doing everything in her power to stop her former club’s recent success. New to the goals this year she has proved the saying that ‘a good outfield player will make a good goalie’ correct with some terrific displays this year between the posts.

The match ups on Saturday will be interesting and will have a huge bearing on the result. Who picks up Cait Devane? She had a huge battle against Mairead Eviston last year. Will Mairead start this year? Where will Cait even play? Often she starts at centre forward but can drift out to midfield and then go in full forward so its likely no one player will mark her for the hour.

Will Clonoulty man mark any of the Drom forwards? In last year’s final Eimear Loughman picked up Eimear McGrath but McGrath’s role has been different this year playing most of the games out in midfield where her long range shooting has aided Drom.

Both sides know each other so well at this stage it will be very interesting to see how it goes. Drom-Inch will be many people’s favourites seeing as they are current champions and defeated Clonoulty in the group stages.

But hunger is a huge advantage in county finals and one would expect that if it’s a close game in the second half will Clonoulty possess the greater hunger and will power to see them over the line and bring the cup back to the west?

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