By Seamus Hayes
Deirdre Murphy has been ever present in the Clare senior camogie team in recent years. An all star nominee on a couple of occasions, she has represented Munster a number of times in the Gael Linn cup. Indeed the Clooney-Quin woman spent a number of seasons working as a camogie development officer for Munster so there is no denying her love of camogie.
While, understandably, delighted with last week’s victory over Cork, being in Sunday’s league final against Kilkenny is where “Clare should be at this stage if we have any ambition”, Deirdre said shortly after helping Clare reach the final for the first time when defeating Cork in Kilmallock
Twelve months ago, despite an outstanding performance by Deirdre, Clare lost out in extra time to Cork at the same stage of the league
“We have worked hard and nearly every good player in the county is available to us this year. We have been building for the past couple of years. Every player in the panel is putting a massive effort in. Going into last week’s semi-final we knew we had a lot of work done. We were beaten after extra time last year. We had to win to progress, to see that the work we had put in was rewarded”, she said.
Deirdre, the gaelic games officer at the University of Limerick, went on to say “Colm (Honan) and the lads are looking for heads up hurling from us, to have that bit of composure, and everyone is buying into it big time. Its great to be in a league final but there is only half a job done at the moment”
“National titles don t come easy. We would see Cork as the standard bearers, they are there every single year, Kilkenny now are probably the hungriest team in Ireland after been beaten in the All-Ireland final last year. They are very very talented”, she acknowledged.
That said, she is very happy with the Clare squad and the progress being made. “I really believe in this group of players. The individuals we have are amongst the best in the country and we are working really well as a team. We absolutely respect Kilkenny but we don’t fear anybody”, she stressed
She is happy that the final is being played as part of the hurling league final programme. “Both the GAA and camogie are trying to have as many double headers as possible. It’s great, It will be a new experience for us”, she said before warning ” whatever the occasion, we have to concentrate on the sixty minutes ahead. It’s a great time of year to be hurling, against the top teams. We should be where we are at this stage if we have any ambition”.