Sunday 18 August 2019

O'Connor: Prohibitive rules are slowing camogie down

Four-time All-Ireland winner Amy O’Connor. Photo: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Four-time All-Ireland winner Amy O’Connor. Photo: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Cathal Dennehy

Four-time All-Ireland winner Amy O'Connor has called on camogie authorities to allow games to flow more in the home stretch of the championship.

Earlier this year the Cork star said camogie had become "boring to play" and "boring to watch" and she believes a big reason is the strict refereeing late in the championship.

"I said a few things that were blown out of proportion, but all I said was I wanted a bit more flow to the games, I didn't explicitly say I wanted people to be shouldering," she said at the launch of the 'Go Together' campaign, which is seeking to get an attendance of 25,000 at the camogie final.

"It's the most skilful game a woman can play, the fastest game a woman can play - we need to show that it is.

"Some of the group games are very quick but when it gets to the later stages, the refs are under pressure to follow the rules because they're on telly.

"They get a lot of stick but nine times out of 10 they're just following the rules."

In the wake of the Rebels' second straight All-Ireland victory over Kilkenny last September, spectators and pundits were quick to criticise the refereeing after a stop-start encounter, but O'Connor is hoping that will be avoided in the upcoming games.

"There was still way too many frees given (during the group stages).

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"Leave the games flow more, leave them be more exciting, leave players demonstrate how quick and skilful they are without stop-starting for stupid things."

Cork maintained a perfect record through the group stages and were rewarded with a place in next month's semi-finals. As they stand on the brink of the county's first three-in-a-row, O'Connor says they're not getting ahead of themselves.

"We've nothing won. There's a huge task ahead."

Meanwhile, Niamh Rockett says the Waterford players were satisfied with the response from the Camogie Association after they aired grievances about the late rescheduling of a championship fixture.

"We're just looking to co-operate with the Camogie Association, we don't want to burn bridges," she said.

"We just want to improve camogie as a whole and (ensure) the five-day turnaround won't happen for anyone again."

Irish Independent

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