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Maryfield a class apart

SINGER Sinead O'Connor went to Maryfield College in Drumcondra. Maybe she could have played for the Dubs, but music proved stronger than camogie's call.

All around the corridors, the echo tells of past camogie glories. Maryfield is one of the most respected schools on the colleges circuit.

It's been like that for 70 years. And the Maryfield pupils were known throughout the city as the 'Pyjama Dames.'

That was due to their distinctive blue and navy-striped blazers. But there was nothing sleepy about the Maryfield maestros when they had the hurls in their hands.

The eighties were a particularly successful spell as three national titles were secured, two junior and one senior.

Last season, the All-Ireland Junior crown was again captured as the Dubliners beat Tipperary's Coláiste Dun Ioscaigh by four points at Ellistown.

They were captained by Aisling Maher, who followed the golden footsteps of previous All-Ireland skippers, Roisin Brady, Siobhan Bryson and the cultured Carmel O'Byrne, who played for Dublin when they last won the All-Ireland senior title in 1984.

Presently, Maryfield have a cluster of Dubs who have worn the jersey at different levels, with the majority of the players coming from St Vincent's, Na Fianna and Whitehall Colmcille.

"The camogie is going well here," says coach, Dermot Smith. "We take part in all the grades of the Dublin Championship.

"Last season, our near neighbours, St Dominic's of Cabra, won the Dublin U16 and U19 championship double, so we'll be doing our best to emulate them this time.

"But firstly if we want to get into the All-Ireland series again, we'll have to beat Stillorgan's Coláiste Iosagáin in the semi-final. They are a very strong side, but the girls are extra determined to do well."