Saturday 1 October 2016

Ladies hoping for record attendance to witness Rebelettes' latest drive for five

Published 26/09/2015 | 02:30

Hannah Noonan will be included in the Dublin lineup
Hannah Noonan will be included in the Dublin lineup

History beckons on several fronts at Croke Park tomorrow where the greatest team in the history of ladies' Gaelic football is bidding for a 10th title in 11 years and the crowd could also break records.

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The Ladies' Gaelic Football Association are calling on supporters to turn up in big numbers to help them claim the title of best-supported women's sport event in Europe this year.

They want to beat the 30,710 crowd that turned up to see the first women's FA Cup final take place at Wembley. That was nearly 4,000 more than last year's Gaelic football finals but a record 33,000 turned up to Croker in 2001 and given what is at stake tomorrow that could be surpassed.

In the red corner are Cork's legendary Rebelettes, bidding to complete the 'drive for five' that was denied them in 2010, when they suffered their only championship defeat in 11 seasons.

Six of their players - Briege Corkery, Rena Buckley, Valerie Mulcahy, Geraldine O'Flynn, Brid Stack and Deirdre O'Reilly - are looking to win their 10th Celtic cross.

Human dynamos Corkery and Buckley are hoping to complete yet another 'double double' and bring their haul of All-Ireland senior medals to a record 16 after winning their sixth in camogie two weeks ago.

In the blue corner are Dublin, the only other county to win the Brendan Martin Cup in the past 10 years.

And in another first, the Jackies have included Londoner Hannah Noonan, who moved to Ireland this year specifically to improve her football, in their final line-up.

Dublin's only victory from four finals in 12 years came in 2010 and most heartbreaking was last year's one-point defeat after they led by 10 points with a quarter to go but somehow yielded to Cork's indomitable spirit.

This mouthwatering senior rematch (4.0) promises to be a thriller and is preceded by Kildare versus Waterford in the intermediate final (1.45) and a junior curtain-raiser that pits Louth against Scotland (11.45).

Irish Independent

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