Tyrone camogs bidding for provincial glory

By Niall Gartland

TYRONE camogie boss Paul O’Grady is making no secret of his ambitions for the group as they hone their preparations for Sunday’s Ulster Junior Championship final against Down Seconds.

The Mayo native is in his first season in charge but it didn’t take long for him to clock that he has a talented and determined group of girls at his disposal, and they recently won the Division Four title with a magnificent victory over Wicklow.

So confidence is sky-high in the camp ahead of their looming Ulster final date, and why wouldn’t it be given they’ve gone the entire season without a single blot on their copybook?

Commenting on the trajectory of the season to date, O’Grady said: “When we went into our first meeting, we weren’t entirely sure of what we were going to get. We didn’t know if everybody would come on board so we didn’t set any massive goals for ourselves, but from our first training session we realised we’d a really good team.

“From there on we’ve set big targets, our first goal was to win the league and we’ve done that, so now we want to win the provincial and All-Ireland Championships – we want to win the three in-a-row. We see no reason why we shouldn’t aspire to do that but whether we can actually achieve it is the next thing, and I think if we put in the work we can.”

O’Grady gave the team a bit of a break after last month’s Division Four triumph, and their injured girls have recovered in time for Sunday’s game, he’s happy to report.

“The league campaign was great and we gave the girls some rest time and then got them back into training. We’ll be full-tilt again with the All-Ireland Championship around the corner.

“It’s going pretty well and the form is good and the players are all ready to go. We’re lucky in a way, we picked up a few injuries after the league and they got time to rest at a time when there were no competitive matches, so we were fortunate in that respect.”

Tyrone have some seriously talented operators throughout the pitch, and among those to impress in their league final win over Wicklow were talented attacking duo Cara Little and Lara Devlin. Their manager says that the team are now starting to believe they have the ability necessary to climb up the camogie ranks.

“Girls like Lara and Cara are brilliant. We played a challenge game recently against Antrim Seconds and Becky Santos was absolutely brilliant.

“The girls now realise they’re no longer at the level they were in the past, they’re starting to believe they’re genuinely really good. We went up to Antrim and made easy work of it – I think next time we go up to Antrim we’re going to get the First team instead of the Seconds team.”

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