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Murray says Collins substituti...
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Murray says Collins substitution was tactical as her point seals semi-final win

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

20:15 29 Aug 2021

Paudie Murray's Cork are back into the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship final for the first time since 2018. 

That's after they beat reigning champions Kilkenny by a single point in their semi-final at Croke Park today.

0-15 to 1-11 was the final score with substitute Linda Collins the hero for the Rebels as she scored the winning point in injury time.

Speaking to OTB Sports at full-time Cork manager Paudie Murray explained the reasoning behind her not starting the game.

"Over the last probably two years we didn't get a kick [in games] towards the end.

"Last year in the semi-final we felt that if we had someone to come in with 10/15 minutes to go and give us a kick in those games we probably would have come out winners.

"There was a lot of thought put into it during the week.

"It was unfortunate on Linda in one way but we wanted an impact off her and we got that and I think it panned out quite well."

Cork led by five points at half-time and it looked like the win was going to be routine enough for them.

Then the Cats turned it up a gear after the break and a goal from Mary O'Connell after 43 minutes meant the game was on for the All-Ireland champions.

Murray said their slip in both concentration and standards was frustrating.

He also praised Cork's resilience to hold on against such tough opposition, saying the identity of this new side is really starting to come to the fore.

"I thought our first half was good.

"The third quarter killed us, we spoke about a lot of things during the week and I think they went out the window a small bit in that period.

"Our transition wasn't good, our shape wasn't good.

"That 15 minutes really annoyed us but I suppose Kilkenny were always going to have their period of dominance.

"I thought we showed great composure, great character.

"I think the team is starting to develop its own character.

"It's not easy for this team, you've had big characters in the dressing room that have left over the last number of years.

"It takes a small bit of time for a new team to develop, a new personality inside in the dressing room, new characters, and I think we're starting to produce that this year."

During the post-match reflections upon both games, there has been much discussion in relation to the four-week wait Galway and Kilkenny had to wait for their semi-finals.

They topped their groups so before today had not played since 31st July while their opponents came through their quarter-finals last weekend.

Galway boss Cathal Murray felt the lack of sharpness caused by the break nearly cost them.

Paudie Murray though disagreed.

"We were delighted with the four weeks, to be honest.

"We had a number of injuries and we're a dual county.

"The four weeks allowed us to give the three footballers a bit of space and recovery and then they could come and concentrate on producing a performance today so from that point of view we were very happy and we're not going to complain."

Cork will now prepare for an All-Ireland showdown with 2019 champions Galway in a fortnight.

Coming into this championship many would have tipped Kilkenny or Galway to get their hands on the O'Duffy Cup, particularly after their impressive league final.

Murray says he knows Galway will be the favourites but they can only focus on themselves.

"We are going to be under pressure.

"That Galway team, just look at the bench there today, I was looking down at them and a lot of those girls would be playing on any other inter-county team.

"They've got a phenomenal squad.

"We are going to be under pressure, a lot of people are going to be saying this is Galway's All-Ireland [to lose] and they're nailed on to win it.

"We can only control ourselves, all I'll ask from this team is to give it a shot and see where it brings us."

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All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Cork GAA Paudie Murray

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