by Daragh Ó Conchúir
Aoife Murray has dismissed any suggestion of Cork being affected adversely by the pressure of being Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie champions.
One of the most experienced and successful players in top flight Camogie, this is the eighth season Murray has had the pleasure of carrying such a mantle.
"People talk about pressure like it's a negative thing" says Murray. "The pressure we're under this year, it's an absolute honour to have that pressure.
"I would say, every single team out there in Senior, Intermediate and Junior would absolutely kill for this pressure we have. It's one of the best pressures to have. I wish I had this every day rather than work!"
Cork take on Tipperary in a top-of-the-table Group 2 clash on Saturday, and though the Rebels had 13 points to spare over their next opponents in the Munster Final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on May 26th, their skipper is expecting a closer encounter this time.
"The Ragg is a tight pitch and that's going to be a dogfight. Tipperary will be out to get us after the Munster Final. It's three games on the bounce after the two-week break so we have to focus on Tipp and take it from there."
With all the teams having played two rounds, Cork are at the summit of the group with a superior score difference of eight points.
Cáit Devane has accumulated 3-15 from two games for Tipp and is joint leading scorer for the championship with Limerick's Niamh Mulcahy, who has 24 points from three outings.
Cork have a more even spread of contributors, and Orla Cronin, on 1-9, is joint top scorer for the Leesiders with Katrina Mackey, who has 2-6 to her credit.
Cronin emphasises the importance of the collective in the Cork attack, while acknowledging that Tipp will be difficult to contain.
"We're always trying to do the right thing, whether it's giving it to a person in the right position or taking it when it's on" Cronin explains. "It's small things and if we can keep progressing, they might come off better.
"Tipp are going really well, they've some really good forwards and a very good midfield so we'll be looking forward to the test."