Annie Fitzgerald chases her second All-Ireland medal in a month when spearheading the Gailltír attack in tomorrow’s All-Ireland Intermediate Club Camogie Championship final against St. Rynagh’s of Offaly (Croke Park, 1.30pm).
Fitzgerald secured Ashbourne Cup glory with the University Of Limerick with victory over UCC in Carriganore on February 16th. Not a bad achievement for an 18-year-old first-year student — but not a surprise considering her pedigree.
She explained: “Mam (Gail) comes from a big hurling family. She is an O’Sullivan. Shane O’Sullivan, who played with Waterford is her brother. Philip and Pauric Mahony would be first cousins as well. Mam used to play for Gailltír and I used to go down to her training and do the warm-ups! My granny, Lillian Howlett (O’Sullivan) played on the Munster camogie team when she was 14. Everyone says the hurling in our family comes from grandad (Ballygunner legend Pat O’Sullivan) but I think it comes from granny!”
Fitzgerald is surrounded by talent — and first cousins — on this team with captain Áine Lyng, Trish Jackman and Emma Roche providing plenty of experience for the younger brigade.
Orla Murphy’s troops are feeling confident having defeated Clonduff — the side who pipped them in last year’s final — in the last four.
Fitzgerald admitted: “The occasion maybe got to us a little bit last year. It was the first time playing in Croke Park for many of us.
“You go out and think, ‘I am not going to let this get to me.’ But some element of it maybe does. It was great to beat Clonduff (in the semi-final) but we still have a big task on our hands with St Rynagh’s.
“They play a very quick passing game off the shoulder. We haven’t come up against anything like that this year. They play nearly a football running game. We will have to be ready. We just can’t wait now.”