Hurling and camogie

Antrim star McCormick looking to savour return to Headquarters

Antrim's Roisin McCormick in action during her team's win over Galway in Saturday's National Camogie League quarter final Ashbourne Co Meath. Pic by Bert Trowlen..

NOT many of the current Antrim team have played camogie in Croke Park.

However hot-shot corner-forward Róisín McCormick has already been there, done that on St Patrick's Day 2012.

“Yes, it was the day Loughgiel won their second All-Ireland hurling title against Coolderry. The U12 teams from both clubs got to play against each other at half-time, hurling at one side and camogie at the other. I played in the camogie game that day.

“It mightn’t count with a lot of people but it was a dream come true for me at 11 years of age and from then on, I wanted to play there for real.”

The 2021 top-scorer for the Saffrons hit 1-5 in the semi-final defeat of Galway at Clones, including the first goal after just five minutes.

“I was really emotional at the end of the semi-final. Like, I don’t cry normally when we win games, but this was different. It meant that I was now getting to play in Croke Park. It is every player’s dream and camogie players don’t get to do it often.

“It is a massive achievement to get through to play in Croke Park. There were a few other players in tears as well. It shows how much it means to us.”

The past 18 months have been difficult for everyone and life has had to adjust to the challenges posed by Covid. Sport has been no different, but the start of this season in particular has been tough on the TUD (Technology University Dublin) student as she was based in Dublin up until the end of May.

“The rest of the panel was broken down into groups of three to do the pre-season conditioning work and they had each other to keep them going and motivate each other when one of them didn’t feel like doing the session.

“I was on my own in Dublin and I found the running programme the most difficult part of the whole pre-season work. I didn’t mind the rest of the Strength and Conditioning programme, the weekly challenges and all. Just the running was hard when you didn’t have anyone to bounce off.”

Looking forward to the final, McCormick just can’t wait to get to Croke Park.

“I don’t think we have any fear of Kilkenny. We played them at the start of the championship up in Dunloy and we won. We were missing a couple of players that day because of Covid as well. Maybe they were too.

“No, I am really excited about the game and looking forward to the whole day.”

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Hurling and camogie