John Brudair rallies Milford for massive Oulart-The-Ballagh test

Milford camogie manager John Brudair is happy how preparations have gone ahead of tomorrow’s crunch All-Ireland semi-final clash with Leinster champions Oulart-The-Ballagh in Carriganore.

Two of the greatest club rivals in the modern era — sharing the last four titles — the expectation is that this will be another classic encounter.

The Wexford side is bidding for back-to-back titles so Brudair knows his team will have to be at their very best if they are to succeed.

“We played them in a challenge match during the summer and there was nothing in it. I know conditions will be different this time but I’d be hoping that would be the case again. Both of these teams have been mainstays of the club championship for the past few years and this is the battle of the big guns once again.

“The girls are very dedicated. They got through the winter months no problem. Sourcing pitches, or course, was difficult at times but we were lucky enough to be able to sort that out.

“We have had a nice run of challenge matches and they have been really beneficial to us. The conditions will be a factor as well and we will need a bit of luck too if we are to get through.

“This is a big game for us. Nobody remembers the semi-final. It is all about getting to the final.

“We have to get there. Everything that has been asked of the girls they have done. We need one more big performance.” Because of his commitment to the Limerick senior footballers, Brudair won’t be in attendance at the Déise venue. He will be patrolling the sideline in Kilmallock for the Shannonsiders first round of the NFL against Tipperary, throw-in here is just a half an hour before the 2.30pm start in Waterford.

“We did try to get the camogie match changed but that was not possible.

“It is well highlighted that I was with Limerick first day so it is not a dilemma as such.

“We have brought in Deirdre Murphy from UL and she will work alongside selectors Pat O’Riordan and Joe Daly.”

Murphy is no stranger to the big day and will not want for experience.

She was a key component of the Clare camogie team for a long number of years and was awarded the Clare camogie player of the decade in 2014. Currently she fills the role of GAA Development Officer at the University of Limerick.

A date with either Killimor (Galway) or Loughgiel Shamrocks (Antrim) awaits the winner and if the north Cork outfit was to reach the March 6 decider, it would cap an incredible spell since the club — founded in 1997 — made their senior breakthrough in 2012. They have gone on to collect all four Munster club titles and twice were crowned All-Ireland champions (2012 and 2013).

Oulart-The-Ballagh claimed All-Ireland honours in 2011 and 2014 so it is pretty safe to assume that very little separates these two fine sides as they prepare to lock horns in this much-anticipated showdown.


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