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McEvoy out to pop Cork

NIAMH McEVOY would love to do the Grand Slam. Like many of her colleagues, she has won All-Ireland titles at U14, U16 and minor levels.

She is teaching at St Oliver Plunkett's Primary School, Malahide. The pupils there know the scent of Croke Park.

They reached the Cumann na mBunscol Girls Football final before Christmas. They lost by a point. They returned as heroes. The memories will last forever – the supporters' bus leaving the village, the flags, the face-paint, the warmth of the welcome in the big house.

"There was such excitement. They are a lovely group. It was such a wonderful day," recalls Niamh.

She is very much part of the tidy town. The Syls blood runs through the bones. Sinead Aherne has taught the teacher well. They both play with Sylvester's.

"Sinead helped me so much when I first joined the Dublin senior team. We'd travel to and from training together. She has such a marvellous attitude.


"She is the person I'd benchmark my life on, on and off the pitch. She doesn't say much, but when she does, people listen. She speaks such common sense. She is very wise. She gets straight to the point.

"And she is such a joy to play with. When I look up, she is always available for the pass. She always makes the right runs.

"We played Mayo a couple of weeks ago and Cora Staunton scored 1-6. But Sinead hit 1-7, and there's wasn't as much about it."

Everybody in the Dublin camp knows there is only one Niamh McEvoy. There used to be two! Niamh McEvoy of Parnell's also played with the county.

"It was never really a problem. They'd call her Macker and I was called Niamh or junior, so there was never a mix-up or anything like that."

Syls have made significant progress. They played senior championship for the first time last year.

Her Dad, Dave, was involved as they climbed the stairs. Himself and Niamh's mother, Joan, never miss a match, club or county.

They'll be in Parnell Park on Sunday. "It is always a terrific match against Cork. They always go right down to the wire.

"Hopefully, we'll get a big crowd. It's brilliant to be playing in Parnell Park.

"Things are going well this season. We'll try to keep it going now, and after three successive away games, it's nice to be at home."