Sunday 21 October 2018

Baby blue cheers Dubs to Wicklow win

Betty Maguire, Mary Power (7), Liz Power, Andrew Power (10) and John Power (15) from Lusk. Picture: Mark Condren
Betty Maguire, Mary Power (7), Liz Power, Andrew Power (10) and John Power (15) from Lusk. Picture: Mark Condren
Ciaran Kilkenny of Dublin with supporters Vicenta Fahey, left, and Eithne Richardson. Picture: Sportsfile
Wicklow fans Julie Hyland and daughter Holly (5) from Arklow. Photo: Mark Condren

Laura Lynott

IT was never going to be a day for giant killing as the almighty Dubs humiliated neighbours Wicklow, who suffered a crushing defeat at the Leinster Championship quarter-final clash.

Almost as soon as the Dublin squad set foot on the pitch, true blue fans left neighbours Wicklow in no doubt they were invincible at home and away.

An almighty roar ricocheted across the stadium as fans cloaked in sky-blue jerseys celebrated the Dubs' dominance, with a Dublin 4-25, Wicklow 1-11 final score.

And perhaps the secret of Dublin's success is breeding the love of the game into the capital's young, who follow their team with a passion from cradle to grave.

Mother Lorraine Grainger, from Clondalkin, Dublin, took baby son Aidan Devine - a tender six-month-old - not just for a family day out but as her good luck mascot. "It was the baby's first match and it looks like I was right to take him," said Lorraine, beaming, as she celebrated Dublin's glory with her infant.

"We are thrilled - over the moon. He doesn't know much about it yet but this will be the first of many matches my little one will be at because now he's my lucky charm."

Teacher Fiona Connell (32), from Blanchardstown, attended the big game with carpenter boyfriend Kevin Maher (31), from Donaghmede. And like many couples, their passion for the blues ignited their love for each other.

"We love Dublin. They brought us together," Fiona said.

"We met at a match and it's our thing together, so it's great to be here today after this win and to watch Dublin together."

Dignity

Of course, Wicklow fans had to be applauded for the dignity with which they took their defeat.

Mother Julie Hyland (34), from Arklow, displayed her Wicklow colours with pride on her plaited headband, also sported by daughter Holly (5).

Julie is the sister of well-known Wicklow cornerback Ciarán Hyland and, regardless of the score, Wicklow "are part of our family heritage", Julie said.

"The main thing for us was to be here today to support Ciarán, and Holly couldn't wait to say hello to him," added Julie, who runs an online fashion boutique.

"The match was very important to my brother because he's been playing for Wicklow for so many years, since he was 18 for the under 21s.

"GAA and Wicklow are part of our family."

Irish Independent

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