Liberty Insurance All-Ireland
Cork v Dublin, Sunday, 2pm, Páirc Uí Rinn
Click on link below to listen to Dublin Gazette Sports Editor, Aaron Dunne’s Exclusive Interview with Manager Adrian O’Sullivan
by Aaron Dunne
DUBLIN face one of the toughest assignments in camogie this Sunday when they travel to Páirc Uí Rinn to face a fancied Cork in their Liberty Insurance Senior Championship opener but manager Adrian O’Sullivan has backed his team get the results they need to qualify for the knockout stages.
Dublin will face Waterford in their second outing just six days later – a team they defeated by a single point in a relegation play-off last month – before a likely do-or-die clash a rising Down side the following weekend. A hectic schedule of three games in just 13 days.
“It’s been a tight turnaround from the league to the Championship too,” O’Sullivan told the Dublin Gazette this week, “so we haven’t had time to clear up the inevitable bangs and niggles as we would have liked but all the teams are in the same boat.”
“I think everyone would have liked to have had a another weel or two just to get few more challenge games played and get the prep right.
“We gave them a few days off after the Waterford game but then we only had time to get the one challenge game played. We’re all looking forward to the championship now. At the time it gave us a great boost, in a way it validated what we’ve been doing. But will that have an impact of the challenge we’re facing over the next 13 days? Probably not, to be honest.
“I’m a firm believer in that old saying that league is league and championsip is championship. It was great to stay in Division 1. It gave us a confidence boost, but it will have very little relevance on what we’re going to face over the next couple of weeks. Even if you look at the hurling, for example, beating Clare and drawing with Wexford in the league, and now they’ve been relegated out of the championship.
“We’ve very much parked that Waterford game now and are fully focused on the next three opponents.
The first of those will be the toughest on paper – traditional camogie royalty in their own back yard.
“It was the same in the league, we had a very tough opener. Away to the All-Ireland champions in Kilkenny. Away to Cork now is probably up there with a trip to Ballinasloe as one of the toughest assignments you can get really in championship. But that’s what we all get involved for – it’s top level sport. There’s nowhere else you’d rather be than down in Cork and ready to go.
“Most casual observers would fancy Cork to top the group, but I think we have a very, very good chance of progressing.”