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"It was a mad switch" | Clíodhna O'Connor on Ladies semi-final venue change

Former Dublin goalkeeper Clíodhna O'Connor gave her analysis of the late venue switch for the Co...



Football

"It was a mad switch" | Clíodhna O'Connor on Ladies semi-final venue change

Former Dublin goalkeeper Clíodhna O'Connor gave her analysis of the late venue switch for the Cork vs Galway ladies semi-final.

Late Sunday morning, the GAA decided that Parnell Park was unplayable and that the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Championship semi-final would be played at Croke Park.

Not only did it mean a venue change, but it meant an earlier throw-in time given the men's All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final later on.

"It was a mad switch, really. At 12 o'clock today we were told the game was being moved from Parnell Park to Croke Park and throwing in half an hour early," O'Connor told Off The Ball.

"You can see maybe people made what they thought was the best decision at the time. They wanted the game to go ahead, the pitch was unplayable, it was too cold or frozen over in Parnell Park."

The late venue change no doubt forced some last-minute adjustments to the team's preparations for the semi-final. "What are you going to do?... It was a case of just taking what was available to ensure the game went ahead, but right now we don't know the exact details of that or how it could have been done differently."

How did it affect the teams?

"I remember looking at the clock and it was 12:58 pm and Galway still was not on the pitch nor was the referee. Cork had been out for maybe ten or twelve minutes," O'Connor added. "Galway had a five or six-minute warm-up on the pitch. Whether they were doing something in the dressing room is a different story. It definitely was not an ideal start."

Ultimately the game was one-sided, which O'Connor reflected on. "Whether that (venue change) made any impact on the result by the scoreline - it would suggest that it didn't. It was not a one or two-point win, it was a comprehensive victory for Cork."

Cork were decisive winners in the end, but it was not the case from the get-go. "I thought Galway started better actually. Probably in the first eight to ten minutes, Galway looked like the better team," she added. "The longer the game went on, the better Cork got and the more the gap between the two teams opened up."

O'Connor doesn't believe that there's much of a gap between Dublin and Cork going into the final. "Today's result means you have the best two ladies football teams playing in the final. Physically I think they're matched and from a skillset point of view, they're also matched. Cork is not miles away. They haven't been that far away from Dublin in the last three years."

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