When your medal shelf is bustling like Briege Corkery’s, it can be difficult to remember each and every win.
Corkery and Rena Buckley were on the Cork side which beat Wexford in the national camogie league final last Sunday, and, this evening face Monaghan in the ladies football equivalent. She’s fairly sure she has never before been in a position to win two national league medals in the space of seven days, but not definite.
“I don’t think it’s happened before in the league,” she said. “And I know Rena would be the same, I don’t think about things like that. It’s all at the back of my mind, the camogie is over until the championship now and it’s football all the way for the moment.”
Such a no-nonsense approach has always been a hallmark of wing-back Corkery’s play and one gets the impression she is not engaging in mind-games when evaluating today’s opponents, who put up a brave fight before losing last year’s All-Ireland final to Cork by two points.
“They’re a fine, tough team but they’re clean as well,” she said. “We know what to expect from them because they’ve always given us good games, nothing will be easy against them.
“They play football with fierce intelligence and they’ve been creeping up on us for the last few years.”
While the All-Ireland loss may provide motivation for the Farney County, Cork are not without an incentive of their own, as the county has won the last four national league titles. In all, they won six of the last seven leagues, with the same strike rate at All-Ireland level.
They have become a byword for consistency, so it’s no surprise the focus is always on the next task rather than any of the previous victories.
“From a Cork point of view, we’re thinking about a five-in-a-row,” Corkery said.
“We’re trying to set standards for the championship, so it’s always a case of playing every game as if it’s the last one.
“You can see that the hunger at the moment is very strong, it’s clear from the way that we’re going in training. At the same time, it’s only when things will come to the crunch against Monaghan that we’ll know for sure.”
Corkery missed one of the four previous consecutive league wins, as she spent 2010 travelling. Returning seamlessly to the fray last year as Cork reclaimed the Brendan Martin Cup, she feels time away helped refresh her.
“It was very nice to get a break,” she said.
“I had always wanted to do it at some stage, to go travelling was in me as they say. I didn’t play at all when I was away, I just enjoyed myself and that was great to be able to do that. At the same time, I was happy to get back and it was great that we were able to bounce back last year. It’s amazing how great you feel when you get fit again.”
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