Galway senior camogie ready to upset the odds to qualify for final

Cork may be the favourites, but Galway will be looking to upset the odds in Saturday's Liberty Insurance All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds (7pm ).

Cork, the only team with a 100 per cent win record this season, are tipped to meet Kilkenny, who face Dublin at 5.15pm, but Galway manager Mark Dunne says his squad would have to beat both to win this year's title.

"Any time it's only two teams, Cork and Kilkenny, so if you want get to an All Ireland, you have to beat one of them, and to win the All Ireland, you have to beat the other - that's the position, no surprises. Our aim is to be the best, and do that, we have to beat the best."

"Favourites or underdogs, it does not affect our preparation," he says.

Their first meeting since the 2015 decider when Cork upset the odds, having been beaten by Galway in both the league and group stages, Dunne says revenge is not the motivating factor.

"There is a bit of a revenge mission for a few, but a lot of young players have come in. It's not about who we are playing from the past, it is what we want to get out of this year that should motivate us."

Galway have spent their final preparation time "trying to fix a couple of small things" in a bid to improve consistency, and to make the best possible start as they did in the quarter-final against Tipperary to win comprehensively.

"We have to be on guard very early, from the word go. We rattled Tipp early and made it hard for them to come back, but Cork is another step up.

"Cork are a very experienced outfit and they have developed this year even more. They have put up massive scores in most games, very solid in defence and they have been getting scores from everyone so there is not one area on the field we can take for granted."

Galway have scoring stars in the competition’s leading scorer Ailish O’Reilly, minor star Siobhán McGrath, the McGrath sisters Orlaith and Niamh, and Maria Cooney, while the experience of Sarah Dervan, Lorraine Ryan, who was captain when they won the All-Ireland in 2013, and Niamh Kilkenny will be vital.

Cork are renowned for their ability to smother opposition attacks, with Pamela Mackey, Laura Treacy and captain Rena Buckley among the stickiest of defenders. All-Ireland-winning skipper Ashling Thompson has been a central figure, while Gemma O’Connor, Aoife Murray and Orla Cotter also provide plenty of experience.

"We started well the last day, and we want that again on the weekend," says Dunne. "When we hit a purple match, we will need to make the most of it, consistency is the key."

*Extra-time to be played in the event of a draw in either game.


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