Aoife McGrath is looking forward to Tipperary's tough challenge against Galway

Tipp haven't won All-Ireland camogie title in 16 years

Daragh Ó Conchúir

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Daragh Ó Conchúir

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press@camogie.ie

Aoife McGrath

Aoife McGrath, joint captain of the Tipperary camogie team, says they're just happy to be playing games at the moment

Aoife McGrath says that Tipperary are just delighted to be in the last four and not considering the magnitude of attempting to dethrone the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie champions. 

Galway stand in Tipp’s way in the second of Saturday’s two semi-finals at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, both of which will be televised live by RTÉ Two and also streamed live on RTÉ Player in Ireland and internationally. 

It is a stiff task but having reached the penultimate round in the past two seasons and fallen well short against Cork in 2018 and Kilkenny last year, there is no mistaking the intent on rattling some cages this time around. 

Bill Mullaney’s charges illustrated that intent in pre-Covid times, when getting the better of Galway by 1-8 to 0-10 on enemy territory in Duggan Park last March. 

That secured a place in the National League Division 1 Final for the first time in 11 years and though that competition was sadly a casualty of the global pandemic, the improvement and conviction has continued through the resumption of action in autumn. 

This will be the first meeting of the counties at this juncture of the championship in 20 years and it was Tipperary that prevailed in 2000 by six points, going on to win the middle leg of an All-Ireland three-in-a-row. 

That was only the county’s second-ever title. They would make it five in six seasons in 2004 but have not laid their hands on the O’Duffy Cup since.  

“We’re just happy that we’re able to play games at the moment and if you told us back in April that we’d be in an All-Ireland semi-final before the end of the year, we wouldn’t have cared who’d we’d have been playing,” says Aoife McGrath. 

“Kilkenny, Cork, Galway have been in the top three teams for the last few years. Other teams like ourselves and Waterford are probably closing the gap but we’re just happy to be there. It will be a tough day out but we’re looking forward to it.” 

McGrath, who shares the captaincy with Cáit Devane, has pointed to the increased strength in depth of the panel, aided by strong performances from the intermediates in recent years that have facilitated the transition of a number of talented operators to the highest level. 

That depth was tested for the quarter-final victory over Waterford, with former skipper Orla O’Dwyer having already departed for Australia to play Aussie rules in the AFLW, and Aishling Moloney seeing out the final game of her suspension for a first round sending off against Clare. 

“The whole panel made a big contribution in the second-half. Mairéad Eviston and Clodagh McIntyre made their debuts and were fantastic and we had a few coming in from the bench. 

“People are pushing hard for places and that’s what you want. We upped our workrate in the second-half against Waterford as a result. We had to,” she says.

The Tipperary/Galway semi-final gets underway at 2.15. 

For more sport read Tipperary players on Bloody Sunday were heroes of all time