Wednesday 20 September 2017

Comeback queens hailed for ninth win in Rebel run

Comeback queens hailed for ninth win in Rebel run

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE greatest Cork GAA team in proud Rebel annals were cheered home last night as miracle workers.

The Cork lady footballers savoured a heroic welcome to Leeside as veteran coach Eamon Ryan (73) hailed their ninth Brendan Martin Cup triumph in 10 years as arguably the sweetest yet.

The Rebelette footballers delivered one of the greatest comebacks in Croke Park history by defeating Dublin, despite being behind by 10 points with just 14 minutes left.

"They never quit and they never give up," the coach said.

Character

"It takes character, a huge commitment to training, pride and great heart - and this team has buckets of that as well as fantastic courage," he said.

"The loyalty in this panel is something else - they are a credit to the city and county."

Cork players, from left, Eimear Scally, Mairead Corkery, Briege Corkery and Geraldine Flynn, with six year old Amber O'Rourke, from Carlow town, and the Brendan Martin Cup during a visit to Temple Street Childrens Hospital, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Cork players, from left, Eimear Scally, Mairead Corkery, Briege Corkery and Geraldine Flynn, with six year old Amber O'Rourke, from Carlow town, and the Brendan Martin Cup during a visit to Temple Street Childrens Hospital, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Cork players, Norita Kelly, left, Vera Foley and Jean O'Sullivan, right, with fifteen year old Jake Naughton, from Rathangan, Co. Wexford, and the Brendan Martin Cup during a visit to Temple Street Childrens Hospital, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Cork's Eimear Scally, left, who scored a late goal, and Geraldine O'Flynn, who scored what proved to be the winning point, celebrate on the final whistle. Picture: Sportsfile
28 September 2014; Cork manager Eamon Ryan with players, from left to right, Grace Kearney, Geraldine O'Flynn, Angela Walsh, Valerie Mulcahy and Deirdre O'Reilly after the game. TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final, Cork v Dublin. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
28 September 2014; Cork's Rhona Ni Buachalla celebrates after the game. TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final, Cork v Dublin. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
28 September 2014; Cork manager Eamon Ryan and the team celebrate with the Brendan Martin Cup after the game. TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final, Cork v Dublin. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Cork's Lord Mayor Cllr Mary Shields (FF) paid tribute to the footballers for their magnificent courage in fighting back to take the 2014 title, despite the cup looking beyond them as the clock ticked down.

"It was an incredible match and you are all an inspiration to everyone in Cork," she said.

It also marked a 'double' for Cork with the Rebel camogie team having beaten Kilkenny to take the All-Ireland.

Over 2,000 fans gathered to pay tribute to the footballers with special cheers for subs Rhona Ni Bhuachalla and Eimear Scally, whose goals in the dying minutes earned the Rebels an unlikely victory in a barnstorming finale.

Bride Rovers player Grace Kearney joked that her parents, John and Kathleen, warned her to never again to allow a match to prove so close, as they were both exhausted with nerves when the whistle blew after the nail-biting final 10 minutes.

Brid Stack savoured her ninth All-Ireland medal and admitted last Sunday's title was the sweetest yet.

"You just cannot explain it - we had a couple of close wins over the years but this one beats them all," she added.

"You just couldn't write what happened in Croke Park in those final 15 minutes."

Cork captain Briege Corkery said it was the proudest day of her life to lift the cup after such a thrilling comeback.

Incredibly, Briege now has 14 senior All-Ireland medals.

Irish Independent

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