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Na Fianna in proud place

STANDING ovation on the Mobhi Road for Na Fianna on Sunday night.

The Dublin and Leinster champions got the reception they deserved after their heroic campaign that saw them reach their first Tesco All-Ireland Senior Club Championship final.

Mayo's Carnacon had a bit too much guile and experience in Longford as they swept to their fourth All-Ireland crown.

But the capital Queens can feel content with their own contribution which saw them stage a tremendous recovery in the second half before losing 2-12 to 2-4.

"Carnacon showed the benefit of being there before. They knew what it was all about," stated Na Fianna manager, Louise Kearns, who runs the side with Johnny Quinn, Peter Horgan and Lyn Savage.

"At the beginning of the year if anybody had told us we'd reach an All-Ireland final, we would have been thrilled.

"But at the same time, to get there and not win is heart-breaking. The girls worked so hard to get there and they are devastated.

"Yet we'll learn from it. We have eight weeks off now and then we'll come back and get down to it again. So we have plenty to look forward to."

And many happy memories to reflect on. "I have to say the support we got in Ballymahon was fantastic. Na Fianna flags everywhere and so many cheering us on.

"And it wasn't just from Glasnevin. We got so many good luck calls and texts from clubs all around Dublin, the County Board and indeed from clubs like Killoe and Mountmellick.

"We had some hard games along the way. The matches against Killoe and Mountmellick were the most trying. Overall, it was a great run, and the girls gave it everything.


"I think they represented Dublin and Leinster with distinction. They can be proud of themselves. We couldn't have asked for more. And it has given us something to build on next year."

Na Fianna powered through the Dublin Championship before collecting the Leinster crown for the first time on a rain-lashed day in Newbridge. They then overcame the Cork giants Donoughmore to progress to Sunday's final where their spirit suggests that there could be even greater days ahead.

"It was lovely to come back to the club on Sunday night and receive such a wonderful reception from everybody. We all really appreciated it," added Louise.

It helped to lift the spirits. But Na Fianna have been doing that for the city all year.