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Casey hungry to add another senior title to her collection

Catriona Casey’s status in the game is such that when she loses a match – any match - it registers on the handball Richter scale.

Last year, the Ballydesmond woman (30) picked up a couple of losses, notably the All-Ireland Senior Singles final. Her response since has been exemplary; she has been in dominant form at home and abroad and has cruised into today’s Senior Singles final.

Her motivation, she says, is as high as ever.

“I’m definitely hungry, there’s no doubt about that, you just learn that there’s no room at all for complacency. I don’t think I get complacent but a loss definitely focuses you again and I’ve been doing the work so hopefully it will pay off,” Catriona said.

Speaking just an hour after her semi-final win over Tyrone left-hander Eilise McCrory, Casey was very content with her performance and with having reached another senior decider.

“I’m delighted, it was a strange one for me yesterday, my quarter-final was actually played during the week just to facilitate a change so I was at home sitting on the couch watching everybody else and I almost wished I didn’t watch it because all I kept hearing from Aishling in the commentary was that Eilise McCrory was on fire!

“She played really well yesterday so I knew I’d have to perform really well today so I’m every happy with how it went. I don’t think Eilise did herself justice but we all have days like that. Sometimes the difference between the ball rolling out on the front wall and skipping in is very marginal so I think I got away with a bit today but I’m back where I want to be so I’m happy.”

Heading into these big matches, while focusing on her own game, Casey does plan for each individual opponent.

“You definitely do have to make a plan for whoever you’re playing, I suppose in that sense you’re trying to not give them too many opportunities to shoot, keep them back a little bit. If you get an opportunity, you have to take it before they do.”

Having played against four different players in Senior Singles finals – Maria Daly, Aisling Reilly, Martina McMahon and Ciana Ní Churraoin – Catriona will take on a fifth today in Roscommon’s Fiona Tully.

While it’s a first Senior Singles final for Tully, Casey does not believe the St Coman’s star will be over-awed by the occasion.

“It doesn’t feel like Fiona is a first-time finalist, just because she has been in so many other finals. I played her in the final of the World Championships last year so I don’t think she’ll be one bit fazed about the stage or anything. She’s won the Wallball Nationals as well.

“We’ve played a lot so we know each other’s games well. It was a great win for her today (semi-final against Martina McMahon) and she’ll be tough to beat without a doubt so I’ll have to make a plan for Fiona, definitely.”