Sunday 21 January 2018

Buckley's still calm as Cork prepare to do battle with Wexford


'Rena Buckley moved closer to completing the full set than any woman is ever likely to'. Photo: Sportsfile
'Rena Buckley moved closer to completing the full set than any woman is ever likely to'. Photo: Sportsfile

Daragh O Conchúir

Having won almost everything there is to win in women's Gaelic games, it is no surprise to learn that Cork legend Rena Buckley does not get over-amped in the build-up to the marquee days anymore.

That is not to say that the excitement has lessened, nor the thrill and honour she feels every time she dons the county and club jerseys.

Remarkably, Buckley has scaled the peak with Cork at every level from U-16 upwards in both codes, and also bagged a senior club football All-Ireland with Donoughmore.

She moved closer to completing the full set than any woman is ever likely to when Inniscarra reached the senior club camogie final in 2011 but they never landed a blow on Killimor at Croke Park.

Not everyone would play two games for the county in one day, or have to suffer the stress (probably the only time she seems to be encumbered by such strain) of choosing between them.

However, thanks to the co-operation between the Camogie Association and the LGFA, such decisions are consigned to the past.

"It's been great this year, with no fixture clashing, and for the rest of the year we won't even have two games on the one weekend which is a huge change for us," says Buckley.

She has never felt the pressure to pick one over the other.

Buckley says: "You miss out on things but you know you're going to miss some of them at the start of the year when you commit. It's a choice you make so you can't be really grumpy then when you miss out."


And with all that experience, the build-up is more relaxed. But yet, there is a different type of pressure that comes from being aware of all the things that can go wrong.

"You never know what will happen. Wexford could get two goals in the first two minutes. Games take on lives of their own so you just have to deal with whatever happens," the 29-year-old explains.

"When you've a lot of experience you've a lot of baggage as well and young people can bring a bit of excitement and flair. So in every team it's really important to have a mix and I think we have a decent mix at the moment."

Today's opponents Wexford already have a win over the champions of the past two years in the group stages. They stopped Cork from completing the three-in-a-row in 2007 and 2010, while also defeating them in the 2012 final. No wonder Buckley expects it to go down to the wire.

"It should be a very tight game and the thing about Wexford is they have been scoring goals and any team that can do that, they're never out of a game. It's something we'll have to watch," she warns.

The Liberty Insurance All-Ireland semi-finals take place in Semple Stadium today from 2pm and will be shown live on RTÉ One and the RTÉ Player.

Irish Independent

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