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Jackies on the scent of Lilies

PORTMARNOCK'S First Lady, Kathleen Colreavy, will have the kettle on. Dublin will be home from home. Naomh Mearnóg will be looking its Saturday Best.

The neat drive-way past the tidy houses, the splendid clubhouse, the fine pitches, the Ball Wall, the fresh breeze coming in off the sea, and Willie Fallon making sure the white coats have had an appointment with Mr and Mrs Daz.

It's the start of the TG4 Leinster Senior Championship. Dublin host Kildare. It could be a sizzler of a semi-final.

Dublin are the Leinster champions. They began last year's campaign against Kildare at Hawkfield in Newbridge. Dublin won by seven points.

It was a stern exam. Clíodhna O'Connor made a cluster of telling saves and Sinéad Goldrick was pulling more strings than the bell-ringer in Christ Church.

Then Laois arrived in Portmarnock. That was a pulsating tussle. Dublin won it by four points.

The road then led the Jackies to another of their favourite haunts, Dr Cullen Park, where they turned on the charm in the second half against Meath.

They'd love to return to Carlow next month. But the Lilywhites will ensure that it won't be a bed of roses.



"Kildare are a decent side. They'll put it up to us. They beat Cork in a recent challenge, so that says a lot," notes Dublin manager, Paul Gilheaney.

Kildare resided in Division 2 this season. They made the top four, losing narrowly to Galway in the semi-final.

"They have been there or thereabouts for a while now. They are a good side. There's no doubt about that.

"It's a big plus for us to have home advantage. Playing at home for any team is always a bonus.

"We know Mearnóg well. We are used to playing there and the girls enjoy the venue.

"We only hope now that we get a good support. Goodness knows the girls deserve it.

"They put in just as much commitment as the men. It would be a lift for them if they had a big crowd cheering them on.

"The quality in Leinster is good. There's some excellent sides in the province. The standards keep rising, which is good to see.

"I was at a few of the Dublin county championship games, and the level there is very impressive. That augurs well too.

"That championship could come down to the wire."

Just like Saturday perhaps. And like Kathleen Colreavy's kettle, the Blues will also hope to be on the boil.