CORK MANAGER PAUDIE Murray has revealed that Briege Corkery was due to return to action with Cork last summer but the comeback was shelved when she became pregnant.

Corkery gave birth to her son Tadhg at the end of March and set her sights on making it back this year.

The 31-year-old was named on the match-day panel for the first time for last Saturday’s Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Semi-Final victory over Tipperary and made a late cameo appearance – her first since the 2016 All-Ireland Final.

Murray hailed the influence the Cloughduv star has already exerted on the group.

“Briege has been back with us six weeks” said Murray. “To be very honest, she was coming back last year only something else happened, which I had no control over, let’s put it that way! So it was always in the plans to come back.

“She has a bit to go yet, no doubt about but she’s a great presence to have around the place and she’ll drive us on for the next two weeks hopefully.”

Briege Corkery (front row, second right) was part of Cork’s squad last Saturday.

Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Murray was unhappy with the pace of his charges’ play, especially in the first half against Tipp but is unconcerned by the unusual absence of a goal threat against a packed defence, opining that with the strength of the Kilkenny rearguard, Cork will need to be sharp with their shooting from further out to prevail.

“I’m not overly happy to be honest, I’m quite annoyed with certain things. I think we’ve two big weeks in front of us. I’m looking at getting to the level we need to be at and I’m annoyed with a lot of things

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“I thought our tempo was poor at times, I thought our workrate was poor at times and you win nothing moving around the pitch like that.

“I watched Kilkenny in pieces of the first game – there’s no goals going in against Kilkenny with that defence, the way they’re playing. Their defence seems to be better than it was the last couple of years, so we’re not going to score goals.”

He played down the chances of either Cork or Kilkenny managing to pull a rabbit out of the hat, with both sides having met so often, competing in a third consecutive All-Ireland Final and fourth in five seasons, and also crossed swords in the last two National League deciders.

“I don’t think there’s any more surprises. Unless Rena comes back!” said Murray with a smile, in reference to last year’s All-Ireland-winning captain Rena Buckley, who announced her retirement prior to the commencement of the championship.

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