St Louis opponents in Saturday’s All Ireland B Camogie final Gorey Community School, Wexford are a formidable outfit and have been in great form all season.
With an unbeaten record heading into Saturday’s final, and a Leinster title in the bag, they are in confident mood ahead of their meeting with St Louis.Top of Form
Speaking to their local paper, The Wexford People, joint team manager Helena Jacob said Bottom of Form
“Reaching this stage is incredible,” “They are a really committed bunch of girls. I suppose last year in the Leinster semi-final we played Coláiste Bhríde Carnew, who went on to win the All-Ireland, and they knocked us out.
“It was great to see a team with so many Wexford girls win an All-Ireland with them but it really drove our girls on this year to try to win Leinster first of all.
“In the semi-final and the final, I think the two oppositions, St. Brendan’s of Birr and Coláiste Mhuire (Trim), were very good, strong teams and had won their games well.
“Each day, after topping the group (with wins over Presentation Wexford, Coláiste Bríde Enniscorthy and FCJ Bunclody) the girls continued to learn and performed.
“That day against Trim, our resilience and holding out when they were very strong and putting on so much pressure, would be one of the memorable moments of the campaign so far”
With the squad boasting a selection of girls from sixth year all the way down to third year, it brings a different dynamic to the table. Jacob was delighted with how they came together as a group, helped by some extra commitment over the Christmas break.
“Myself and Mary (Laecy) brought them to Oulart and we went training on Oulart Hill and we discovered the characters that they are made of, the fact that they could go through a lot. It was a tough session there, off the field that was one of the highlights,” Helena said.
For Jacob the focus is on the national decider and making the improvements needed to bring on the team from a very strong performance against Nenagh in the semi-final.
They will be looking to defeat a school in St. Louis that pushed Senior ‘A’ finalists St. Patrick’s (Maghera) all the way in recent weeks.
“We know we have a massive battle ahead of us in that final. St. Louis are very strong, they are a running team, they are physical, they have good hurlers, but we feel we only need to concentrate on our own performance really.
“Anyone who has been at a number of games, one thing they will say about our girls is they are really hard working, they get in the face of their opposition. They are a very good unit, the different units of the backs work very, very well together.
“Same in the forwards, some of them have to do less fancy jobs at times and maybe sacrifice their own game in relation to scoring, but they need to do it for the team. We are in the right place now, just ticking over, but we do realise we have to lift it again for that final.”
If Gorey Community School can win the decider, it will match the feat of the 2015 team who claimed the same All-Ireland ‘B’ title with victory over Mountbellew from Galway.
Gorey’s display in the All Ireland final against Nenagh of Tipperary gives everyone an idea of just how big St Louis task is tomorrow. The Gorey girls were untouchable that day. It was such a dominant display in the first-half, that the imperious half-back line of Anna Hughes, Tara O’Connor and Bébhinn McDonald didn’t let one attack past them for the entirety of the opening 20 minutes as the teams smothered the life out of their opponents.
They have a great free taker in left half forward Katie Bolger, who that day accounted for 0-8 of her team’s total, 0-7 of them from placed balls.
St Louis manager Chloe Drain is well aware of the challenge ahead of her team on Saturday. The Dunloy and Antrim star defenders said..
“We know they are a very organised outfit with hunger to try and win this competition. They have had a tough route to the final which will give them a lot of character going into the game. They appear to be a very strong side with a lot of scoring threats. But we are also a very good side and a very tight knit unit.
The girls have worked hard to get to where they are and this group of players don’t want to be leaving school without some silverware, there is massive hunger in our camp to go out and perform on Saturday.
We have enjoyed the group games, but finals are different. It’ll go to the wire and we know we have a huge task on our hands on Saturday. You can see it in the girls that they are very ready to take on that challenge.”
Absent from the photo were Cora Henderson and Eimhear O’Neill (Rasharkin), Clara Elliott (Dunloy) and Emily Sharpe (Brídíní Óga)