Win over Déise has given Tipp momentum, insists Quirke
This year’s championship has had its tricky moments for Tipperary’s senior camogie side but they’re still standing and now face into this weekend’s quarter-final at Semple Stadium.
They take on Limerick on Saturday (5.0), having only lost one match to date when going down to reigning Liberty Insurance All-Ireland champions Cork.
An injury to Nicole Walsh – that led to her being airlifted from The Ragg – was a testing start and led to the abandonment of their clash with Waterford.
Cork cut loose in the second half the following week and it was announced afterwards that manager Bill Mullaney was standing down for health reasons.
With no weekend off due to the re-fixture, Niamh Lillis took up the challenge and stepped into Mullaney’s shoes.
Her impact was instant with Waterford, who had been four points to the good in the final quarter when the initial tie was halted prematurely, defeated at the second attempt.
“I think in a way, not having too much time between the games was a good thing,” insists Tipp captain Clodagh Quirke.
“The management told us to focus on the games and that’s what we did.
“You thought about what happened for a day or two but then you had to park it and move on. I think we dealt with it well. Getting the win over Waterford second time out was a great buzz and it was easy to drive on from there.
“It was a real game-changer. A loss there would have put us in a tough position. It settled us down, gave us time to turn to the next game and focus on that.”
Quirke (24) has been a member of the senior panel since 2011 and has impressed on her younger colleagues the importance of taking charge of their own destinies.
The Clonoulty/Rossmore defender doesn’t necessarily see Semple Stadium as an advantage, because Tipp don’t play their home games there. However, she hopes it might bolster support for her side.
Certainly, she senses a growing interest in camogie in a county on a high due to the achievements of its senior and U-20 hurlers.
“There’s a brilliant buzz in Tipp at the moment. We had a ‘Meet And Greet’ at The Ragg and I couldn’t get over the amount of young girls and their parents, and everyone that showed up.
“I was talking to a few of the parents and they said it was their little girls that told them it was on and they wanted to go along to it. And they’re bringing buses to Semple Stadium. That’s a brilliant buzz to have around the place.”