While Kevin Reidy has full faith in his side before Saturday evening’s All-Ireland semi-final, the Galway native is still a realist and knows his side face a huge task if they are going to make it to the All-Ireland final. “Look, you could ask 100 people about the game and 99 wouldn’t give us a chance, but can you really blame them going on the past few years? But that’s of no concern for us, all we’re thinking about is going out there and putting in a big performance and trying to win the game.”
Cork have been blowing the ladies’ game apart at the seems for the past five years, and are on course for a historic five in a row. But Reidy believes that his side can upset the apple cart and see off the Rebelettes in Nenagh. “We’re in an All-Ireland semi-final, it’s the only place we wanted to be at this stage of the season, we got drawn with Cork. It might look like it’s the worst draw possible, but if we got someone else and won, we’d probably have to play them in an All-Ireland final anyway. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best so that’s what we’re going out there to do.”
Coming into the game as massive underdogs against a side who are 1/16 on to win the championship with one leading bookmaker, while Mayo are back at 12/1, could be an advantage for Mayo as they try to ambush Cork’s five in a row dream. “Maybe playing them in a provincial ground away from the glare of Croke Park could be an advantage to us, but we know we’re going to have to work extremely hard over the course of 60 minutes if we’re going to win on Saturday.”
Since taking charge of the side this season Reidy has seen his side ship two big defeats (against Cork in the league final, and against Galway in the Connacht final ) but the way his side has bounced back from them is something that Reidy has been pleased with. “In the league we just wanted to play as much football as possible and see where the girls stood, we did well up to the final where Cork just blew us away, but at least we knew then where we had to get to. The one that I was most puzzled about was the Connacht final, because everything seemed to be going very well in the lead up to it. But it was just one of those games that you can have where we didn’t perform, it’s hard to put your finger on what went wrong exactly. But in fairness to the girls probably the best training session we had was the Tuesday after that and they were determined to put it right, which we have done so far.” So far so good since the Connacht final, but Saturday evening will be a much sterner test for Reidy and his charges.