Refreshed Geary returns with pep in her step

Anna Geary was on a high but she was tired. A 14-month campaign that had seen Milford finally win a first senior county championship after many near-misses concluded with an All-Ireland at Croke Park.

Refreshed Geary returns with pep in her step

A full season with Cork had been included in that and the thought of heading straight back into league action wasn’t appealing. Add the studies in PR and communications combined with a full-time job as a management specialist in IT software and it was clear. She needed a break.

The problem was though, that Milford’s success meant the four-time All Star was Cork’s captain for the year. She had been showing her face at the beginning of the year and when Paudie Murray gave her the go-ahead to take a few weeks off before returning, she continued to do so.

“We decided that freshness would be important, particularly as I was coming back in the role of captain,” explains Geary.

“When you’re captain, you need to be enthusiastic even of others aren’t. I felt it was no good for me coming back in tired. You need a break. I got advice from people who were in a similar position in the past and they said the best thing to do is to put the hurley away for a few weeks and enjoy what you’ve accomplished.

“There was also the fact that I was up to my eyeballs in college work because I had put it on the long finger a little bit in the weeks leading up to the final. So I had to get myself back on track so I wouldn’t be under pressure this time of year.

“Mental freshness is probably more important than physical. They always say what the mind believes the body will achieve and I think if your head isn’t in it you’re wasting your time.

“If you have someone in the set-up that’s only there because they should as opposed to because they want to be, that’s only going to bring things down. So it was the best thing ever having the few weeks off because when I came back, I had missed it. I was looking forward to getting back into it.”

Now she is an hour away from lifting the Camogie League Division 1 trophy. Standing in her way are familiar foes in Wexford, who Cork defeated in last year’s final before the Model County outfit turned the tables in the All-Ireland final.

Jenny O’Leary is ruled out with a muscle injury but named amongst the Cork subs as is former dual star Angela Walsh, who has returned to the fold. The game is a curtain-raiser to the Allianz HL final at Nowlan Park tomorrow, with the throw-in at 1.30pm.

The Division 2 final between Kildare and Limerick takes place tomorrow also, in Birr at 3.30pm.

Meanwhile, Mullingar is the venue for today’s Division 3 and 4 deciders, with Dublin and Laois crossing swords in the former at 3.30pm, while Carlow and Tyrone clash in the Division 4 final at 1.30pm.

CORK: A Murray; P Mackey, M Walsh, L O’Connell; D Cronin, R Buckley, A Geary; O Cotter, A Thompson; B Corkery, E O’Sullivan, K Mackey; S Burns, A Deasy, J White.

WEXFORD: M D’Arcy; C Donohue, N Lambert, K Atkinson; F Doran, M Leacy, S Kehoe; J Dwyer, L Hammel; F Kavanagh, A Leacy, B Gordon; K Parrock, U Jacob, F Rochford.

KILDARE: B Byrne; N Breen, A Trant, N Concannon; F Trant, C Nolan, A Lyons; C Forde, L Keatley; C Flanagan, S Hurley, O Bambury; C Farrell, S O’Carroll, R O’Connell.

LIMERICK: S Moynihan, J Garvey, N Ryan, F Hickey; J Mulcahy, M Casey, M Ryan; D Fitzpatrick, S Carey; R Delee, N Mulcahy, K Campbell; C Costello, M O’Callaghan, D O’Brien.

DUBLIN: S Carthy; G Free, G Ryan, S Grimes; R Noctor, M Kelly, S Duffy; G Kelly, E Maher; A McGrath, E Gallery, E Flanagan; CA Canning, E Keenan, R Collins.

LAOIS: L Dunne; K Cuddy, M Burke, C Downey; J Dollard, SA Fitzgerald, A Dunphy, Louise Mahony, E Mahony; O Parkinson, S Lanham, E Delaney; S Burke, N Dollard, D Quigley.

CARLOW: J Joyce; SJ Burke, M Doyle, M Coady; K Nolan, E Brennan, E Murphy; C Mullins, T Wilson; L Abbey, C Quirke, E Treacy; S Williams, M Coady, A Ruschitzo.

TYRONE: C Fitzgerald; C McGready, S Hughes, A Fox; N Gavin, J Lagan, J Canavan; S Jordan, A Corr; N McNulty, E McAliskey, M Jordan; O O’Neill, C Rafferty, E Fitzgerald.

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