Thursday 22 February 2018

Returning rebelette fired up

Cork star Jennifer O'Leary will swap the sand and surf of Bondi Beach for the grassy terrain of Kilkenny on Saturday when she makes her return to senior inter-county action after a break of almost two years.

The 26-year-old wing-forward left Leeside in 2008 opting for some time out from a game which has seen her amass three All-Ireland titles and four consecutive All Star awards.

Missing out on Cork's double-winning feats in the intervening years was chief amongst the reasons for her return.

"I saw highlights of the '08 final and I missed the '09 final as I was playing in a camogie and football tournament on that weekend," O'Leary said. "It was strange being away from the team but I felt that I really wanted a break.

"It was great to see them doing so well, it's an exciting time to come back into the panel. I feel pretty nervous considering I have been out of the game for a while but I am also looking forward to the new challenge."

O'Leary has a busy weekend as schools side Colaiste Choilm, Ballincollig, who she coaches, face Borris Vocational School, Carlow in the Senior B Colleges final while she togs out with Cork.

Cork manager Denise Cronin is without the services of Briege Corkery, as well as recently retired duo Una O'Donoghue and Emer Dillon, for the Kilkenny clash.

Kilkenny -- fresh from a five-goal feast against Tipperary, with Aoife Neary bagging three in their opening league fixture -- will fancy their chances at home against last year's All-Ireland champions.

Irish Independent

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