THE Offaly Camogie team has been one of just a handful of Gaelic Games success stories from the county in recent years and last Saturday in Birr they overcame another hurdle in the Leinster semi-final.
Thanks to two late goals, Offaly registered a first win against a Kilkenny team in senior camogie and Offaly manager John Troy equated the success with Offaly senior hurlers’ breakthrough Leinster Final win against the Cats in 1980.
“It’s an historic day for us. Mick Spain is a selector with me and he was a selector with Offaly back in 1980 and he said, today gave him just as much pleasure as 32 years ago.”
Offaly were four poitns down going into the last ten minutes and while it was the biggest deficit between the teams at any point during the game, boss John Troy was not concerned.
“Kilkenny got their goal early in the second half and didn’t threaten for goals after that. Their goalkeeper made three point blank saves and when Siobhan Flannery’s shot hit the flag beside the goals I thought it was in. Other teams would have wilted and I’ve been on teams that wilted and faded away but these girls kept trying.”
They now go on to face All Ireland Champions Wexford in the Leinster Final and John Troy feels his team will be confident going into the match.
“If we play the same way as we did today then we’ll have a chance in the final. It’s great to get another competitive game. We have a two week target to bring us to up to the end of May. Had we lost then we wouldn’t have had another serious game until the end of June. It’ll shorten the run in for the start of the championship. We had some big losses early on, but these girls have the right attitude.”
See Page 66 for report