MIDLETON’S Orlagh Farmer is adamant that Cork won’t be looking beyond Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final despite a bid for six in-a-row.
This is the 24-year-old’s sixth season playing senior and one of her first memories is that of losing to Tyrone in Banagher in 2010. That same year Cork were also going for six in-a-row but fell unexpectedly in the All-Ireland quarter-final. Complacency had set in, but Farmer is insistent that there’s never been a hint of it since.
“The way I look at it, and probably all the girls would say the same, we take each game as it comes,” she said of Saturday’s showdown with Monaghan at the Gaelic Grounds (live on TG4, 5pm).
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen so you have to focus on what’s ahead of you. Obviously we’ve had great success over the last five years, but at the end of the day what’s happened is in the past, and I know we certainly won’t be taking anything for granted.
“It would be great to be in another All-Ireland final, don’t get me wrong, nothing beats being in Croke Park, but our thought process isn’t even going there. I think that’s something that’s been with us since Eamonn (Ryan) was over us. We never look beyond the next game. It’s all about the now, and what we need to do to win the game because we know Monaghan will be well up for it.”
Saturday’s semi-final will be a repeat of the 2008, 2011 and 2013 All-Ireland finals between Cork and the Farney County, and Farmer knows all too well what went into winning those battles. Aged just 17 when she broke into the squad as a Leaving Cert student, and having turned down an athletics scholarship to Kentucky in the United States, Farmer featured in the 2013 All-Ireland final and so isn’t surprised at the strength of Saturday’s opponents.
Albeit that six of their star players stepped away earlier in the year, Monaghan have done extremely well to rebound from what was a poor, one-game winning league display. Granted it was at the beginning of new manager Paula Cunningham’s reign but the transition period is well and truly past as Farmer and Co witnessed in Birr a fortnight ago given Monaghan’s 16-point win over Kerry
“They’re a young, fit and an energetic team, and they also proved to everyone that they’ve worked very hard and that was evident when they won the Ulster final against Cavan when no one was expecting them too.
“Looking back on our own game against Cavan, it took us a while to get into it and we pulled away at the end, but we had a slow start and we can’t afford to do that against Monaghan,” the third-year UCC PHD student added.