‘We’d have more tuning in’ – Players happy despite Sunday evening throw-in for league final

KILKENNY’S MIRIAM WALSH and Galway goalkeeper Sarah Healy say they can understand the logic behind setting their Division 1 camogie final for a 7.30pm throw-in on Sunday at Croke Park.

Source: David Fitzgerald/SPORTSFILE

Cats manager Brian Dowling told the Irish Examiner that he felt the evening start for the game was a “very strange” decision while the Camogie Association say the call was influenced by RTÉ’s television schedule.

The national broadcaster is also covering the Uefa European Football Championship at the moment, although there is only one live game on the station that day at 5pm.

However, Kilkenny All-Star Walsh believes the late billing will draw a bigger TV audience for what will be a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland final.

“It’s mad really half seven but I actually think, it’s good that it’s at half seven.

“Like I think we’d have more tuning in at that time you know, rather than if you think about it, the two o’clock to three o’clock throw in you know, people are going to be going off places and they mightn’t tune in, but I think half seven is a good time for people to tune in. And all of you see me as a player.

“I don’t really mind what time it’s at I’m just really looking forward to the match.”

When asked if the unorthodox throw-in time caused any disruptions in the squad in relation to work commitments, Walsh replied:

“I have to say now, no. It was like the majority of the team, most of them are teachers. So no, everyone’s kind of quite flexible in that sense. Camogie kind of comes first, so no, we’re just really looking forward to it and the time doesn’t really matter to us no.”

Galway shot-stopper Healy echoes Walsh’s feelings on the matter, and the importance of television exposure for camogie.

But she also points out that it will be a tiring day for both squads.

“It is a long day before it,” she begins. “We have had experience, the All-Ireland final last year was a late throw-in. We would be able to adapt.

“As long as you know what you’re doing for the day, and you have it planned out, I think we’d be able to cope with it.

“It’s great to have the final being on TV. That’s only going to better camogie as a whole. You have supporters now back in. People flicking through the channels, if they stop and watch one camogie game, they might come back and watch another one. Then they might go to the matches.”

The league final will also have spectators at Croke Park, as it has been selected as a test event for the return of crowds to live sports events. This means that 3,000 fans will be permitted to attend the game at GAA headquarters.

It will be different experience for both sets of players after battling out last year’s All-Ireland showpiece behind closed doors where Kilkenny prevailed by three points.

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Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

“Sure our families,” says Walsh, “were all watching the all Ireland from the sitting room, you know, so it’s, it’s so its so good that our spectators are coming back to Croke Park.

“Even for the little girls, the younger generation, you know, I’m sure some of them might go up and it’s just great to, you know, it might add to the atmosphere too, you know.”

Healy adds:

“Even as players, it’s great to hear the cheers, and just the atmosphere around it. It makes a lot of difference to us playing on the pitch. It’s good for everybody, I think.”

Littlewoods Ireland is proud to support both Camogie and Hurling for a 5th year running. The Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League final is live on RTE this Sunday the 20 June at 7.30pm while the Division 2, 3 and 4 finals will be streamed live on LWI_GAA Twitter.

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The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship begins Saturday 26 June #StyleOfPlay.

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