Hurling & Camogie

Brid Rogers enjoying a new lease of life with Derry camogs

The Oak Leaf side secured senior status for next season by beating Limerick on Saturday

Derry camogs
Derry players celebrate victory over Limerick at Owenbeg on Saturday. Picture: Margaret McLaughlin (MARGARET MCLAUGHLIN PHOTOGRAPHY )

DERRY are guaranteed another season of top-flight camogie after Saturday’s win over Limerick in Owenbeg and no-one is more pleased than Bríd Rogers, who has seen her inter-county career resurrected after a gap of almost a decade.

“That’s us safe in the senior championship for another year and we are now hoping maybe to get something out of the last two games and get a shot at a quarter-final,” the former Ballycran and Down player said after contributing three first-half points in Derry’s 0-19 to 0-13 victory.

“There was a certain amount of pressure with the game today and the first-round game with Antrim. We targeted those as must-win games and it’s satisfying when things work out on the day.

“We played against the wind in the first half and there were periods where Limerick were playing very well, but you can’t blame the wind for that. Then there were periods when we played well. We used the ball very well but maybe didn’t get it in as early as we forwards wanted it.”

Nevertheless, Derry pulled back a 0-7 to 0-2 lead for Limerick after 13 minutes to go in at the break just a point in arrears.

“We came out in the second half and I think we played a lot better. There was the early ball in and good moves built with players coming off the shoulder. So, yeah, I would say we are pleased enough with the performance as well as getting the win.”

Rogers wasn’t too disappointed that two goal chances passed her by during that second half.

“I probably should have taken both (chances). The one that came back off the crossbar, I maybe should have taken another split second to compose myself before striking the ball. But it all worked out in the end and we can look forward to the next two games.”

Those games are both away from home against south-east neighbours Kilkenny and Waterford on consecutive Saturdays. The former Down player, who won an All-Ireland junior title in 2014 alongside her sister Catherine (McGourty), is relishing the challenge after resurrecting her playing career.

“I really only had a couple of years with Down before my work and stuff took me elsewhere and then I only had time to dip in and out of club camogie with Ballycran.”

Last year, prior to her marriage to Derry dual-player Brendan Rogers, Bríd transferred to Brendan’s club Slaughtneil and helped them extend their run as Derry champions to a ninth successive title.

“That gave me the incentive to get back to the inter-county scene. I wanted to better myself and play with and against top players and that’s why I am looking forward to Kilkenny and Waterford, teams that have played in recent All-Ireland finals.

“There were a few other girls who hadn’t been around for Derry’s intermediate All-Ireland last year, so it wasn’t as if I was going in on my own this year. The girls and management were very welcoming and we are all enjoying our camogie at the minute.

“It wasn’t part of the plan to lose the league final or the Ulster final against Antrim. But that loss to Antrim has really driven us on.

“We are playing pretty well at the minute … even against Tipperary. We have been working well as a team, making the right passes and getting our scores and we have nothing to lose now against Waterford and Tipperary.”

Husband Brendan was in the stand to watch Bríd on Saturday, seated next to Tyrone All-Ireland winner Mattie Donnelly, whose wife Megan also registered a point during the course of the game.

“It’s not too often Brendan would get a chance to come to our games as he has his own playing commitments with Derry footballers, but it’s good to have him about when we are winning.”