Rebel Ryan happy to see Jackies taking the fight to rivalsPRAISE in the boardroom for the Jackies. It arrives all the way from the People's Republic of Cork.

Eamon Ryan is the Cork manager. When it comes to ladies football, Eamon knows his onions.

And he's delighted to see Dublin up there among the best that the sport can offer.

"Without a doubt, Dublin are now one of the top teams in the country," declares Eamon. "And that can only be good for the game.

"When things are strong in Dublin, it percolates down through the whole country.

"People look at what the Dubs are doing and they'd be thinking we can do that too.

"Last year, the Dublin hurlers brought such a fresh dimension to hurling.

"And when any team in Dublin is doing well, it puts it up to the county cousins!" he adds.

"Teams all around Ireland are inspired by Dublin doing well. And they do their best to be as good as them."

In the modern game, the duels of the Dublin and Cork girls have had a ring of the fabled Kerry-Dublin clashes about them.

"Yes, we have had some great games in recent years," states Eamon.

"You had the 2009 All-Ireland final, the All-Ireland quarter-final last year, and some memorable league tussles as well.

"And it was the same a couple of weeks ago when we visited Dublin. They put up a huge challenge to us.

"They played very well. They made it difficult for us.

"We were in serious trouble. But we still managed to come out with the win, and we took a lot of positives from that.

"There is a bit of a record developing there now between the two counties.

"And that, in turn, will help the overall standards improve."

Eamon was also impressed with the attendance at Pairc Ui Mhurchu two weeks ago.

"It was the biggest crowd I have seen at a ladies football match in quite a while.

"Yet I'm still disappointed we don't get more people out to the matches, but I suppose we have to put it in perspective.

"Hurling and football have been going for 127 years. Ladies football is only 40 years old.

"Ladies football is more a participant sport than a spectator sport.

"But it's a pity because the entertainment value is very good."