The Morey brothers, Caimin and Alex aren’t exactly reeling under the strain of preparing for Sixmilebridge’s third Clare senior hurling final in five years.
Much of that is down to their sister Chloe, a 2013 camogie All Star and a nominee again this year.
The pre-county hurling final banter was flying last week in the Morey household to such an extent that tomorrow’s final against Clonlara was nearly forgotten about.
As the day nears though, it will come more into focus for captain Caimin, 26, Alex, 20, and supportive sister Chloe, 22. Her primary concern revolves around Alex’s seemingly unconventional eating habits. All of this emerged when he revealed his career intentions once he graduates from UL, where he is studying financial maths.
“Probably banking or investments. Something like that. I’ll try to sort out the world economy,” he replied when asked what sector he intends work in.
“I think he could make things worse,” Caimin said, laughed.
“Trusting a man who eats Weetos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the financial affairs of the country mightn’t be the best idea,” Chloe suggested.
Caimin was only warming up. He is having trouble coming to grips with his brother’s less than zealous approach to life. “He wakes up an hour before the match and has a bowl of Coco Pops or a bowl of Weetos and heads off out the door,” the Sixmilebridge centre back confirmed, shaking his head.
Chloe said: “Caimin and Alex are polar opposites in that regard. Alex has a more laissez faire attitude. Caimin is meticulous in what he does with nutrition and training. I try to follow Caimin a small bit. I don’t know how he does it sometimes. We try to bring Alex with us sometimes but he’s very...”
County final morning in the Morey household will be tense for most of the family, just not all of them. “We have to go down and wake him up,” Caimin said of Alex.
“A couple of weeks ago, I had my camogie championship game against Clooney-Quin and the boys had their game against Crusheen. I’d be probably biting people’s heads off sometimes. I’ve a very short fuse. Caimin had the chicken pasta cooked for us all. I suppose we look after each other the day of a match, although you mightn’t think it,” Chloe said.
On a serious note, Caimin accepted that reaching a county final, at the very least, is almost demanded in Sixmilebridge. “It’s a failure if we don’t. There is a small bit of pressure but it’s only pressure from within the group. We expect to be in the business end of the championship. When it doesn’t work out, like last year, you can get a bit of stick but this year, so far so good.”
As for Alex, he isn’t always thrilled with the quality of ball directed to him by Caimin and friends, from further out the field.
“No. Not when he’s trying to launch it or put it over the bar from 60 yards. Most of the ball they give in is good but it can be frustrating at times, especially out around the middle of the field with lads going for points. Fair enough, have a shot but there might be one too many. Any ball is fairly good as long as it’s in quick,” the younger Morey said.
If the brothers do get something wrong, they won’t just hear from their manager John O’Meara about it. “They’d hear from their mother (Valerie) first. The aggressive streak comes from our mother. Everyone knows her straight away. She’d be roaring and shouting. She’d be roaring at Caimin to go for a goal from a 60-yard free,” Chloe said.
“You’ll probably see her at the final. She’ll be chewing the wire up and down the line,” Alex forecast.
“You can’t stand beside her at a game. In the earlier rounds, when it’s a bit quieter, you definitely would hear her,” Caimin said.
Valerie doesn’t just question her children’s performances though. If she has to, she’ll defend them. “She stood up for me one day. We were playing Wexford and I was 14 or 15. I was marking Una Lacey. She gave me a dig into the ribs and I didn’t know what to do. All I heard was ‘Shove into her, she has enough padding anyway’. She was standing beside my school principal, Mary Hanley,” Chloe recalled.
Tomorrow’s final will be played in Cusack Park, which is still undergoing development work. The seated stand has been knocked and the crowd will be contained in the terraced stand and behind both goals. “The surface is a lot better, whatever they’ve done,” Alex said.
“It’s top notch compared to last year,” Caimin added.
The Moreys are fulsome in their praise of Niall Gilligan, who will be seeking his fifth championship medal. “There’s a big gap from Gilly down. Gilly is 39 and Tiger (Tadhg Keogh) is 33. There are only probably about six players over 27 or 28. I’d say Gilly has missed barely any session all year. Even in January he does all the running,” Caimin marvelled.
“If you talk to him before or during the game he’d be giving you little pieces of advice here and there. I don’t know how he’s still doing it. I don’t know if I’ll be going when I’m 39. He’s still performing as well. He’s one of our best players,” Alex pointed out.
“The likes of Pa Mulready was only just born when Gilly won his All-Ireland. For the likes of them to see Gilly still there and to learn from him is great. He’s like a fine wine.”
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