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Ladies prove to be up for a Challenge

TWO gents sat down and broke bread together.

Brendan Cooper and Camillus Kilpatrick subsequently produced a sporting feast. The KCC Architectural Challenge was born.

A double-bill of camogie and ladies football at the home of the master chefs, Kilmacud Crokes.

As is their custom, Crokes had everything on a plate.

Pitch in good order. A decent programme. Declan Drake on PA.

No lack of helpers. No shortage of refreshments. Lovely post-match grub.

Glittering medals from Euro Tab, and just a general feeling of good vibrations in Páirc de Burca.

Everybody kept smiling, despite the conditions, which were just atrocious. Heavy rain and biting cold.

It would have been more pleasant to be strolling around the Dundrum Shopping Centre.

But the four teams were having none of it. They got stuck into their work from the first whistle.

This was no Testimonial trot. The players played as if it mattered. And it did.

Two worthy contests. The camogie girls began the action.

Dublin beat the Dub All-Stars by five points, 2-11 to 2-6. It was a close one. The Dub All-Stars might even have won had it not been for the heroics of goalkeeper, Stephanie Carthy.


All round, there were some excellent displays on both sides. And the hardy throng that looked on were well rewarded.

And it was the same in the football where Angie McNally got one over on her good pal, Gerry McGill.

Angie's Army, the Dub All-Stars, took the claret jug by 2-8 to 1-5. A second-half spurt took them home.

They didn't lack quality -- Elaine Kelly, Sinead Aherne, Natalia Hyland and Noelle Healy created and finished in attack.

As in the camogie, the hour proved a real showcase of present and future Jackies, even as the rain lashed down and darkness descended on Stillorgan.

It was an occasion when the joining of the camogie and football hands proved the biggest winner of all.

KCC Architectural Sales Director, David Skelly, commented: "We were delighted to be associated with the event. It was a day that helps to recognise the achievements made by both codes in promoting women in sport."

And the two men that sparked the initiative over a table for two could also feel pleased. "It was an occasion that marks a milestone in our efforts for both sports," remarked camogie's Brendan Cooper.

And Ladies chief, Camillus Kilpatrick, added: "The benefits that Ladies Football and camogie bring to women in communities all over the country just cannot be estimated."

If the Stillorgan double-bill is anything to go by, those benefits are priceless.