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Blues show form in handsome win

Leinster champions enjoy trip to home of Clann Mhuire


Dublin sharpshooter Kate Sullivan. Credit: Sportsfile

Dublin sharpshooter Kate Sullivan. Credit: Sportsfile

Thomas Davis are Regional Division 2 Feile Football champions.

Thomas Davis are Regional Division 2 Feile Football champions.


Dublin sharpshooter Kate Sullivan. Credit: Sportsfile

Off the M1 motorway. Into a different world.

The sheep were grazing. The cows were looking forward to the milking parlour. And Lyric FM.

People exchanged greetings across the village street. The Naul looked good enough for a Tidy Towns award. The sun was out. The wind was whistling and the birds were singing. The Séamus Ennis Centre is up the road. The great man could have put music to last Saturday’s occasion at the home of Clann Mhuire.

The Dubs were in town. Their opening match in Group A of the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship. They defeated Cavan, 5-14 to 2-4.

The hosts pulled out all the stops. And a few tins of paint. The grass was shaven. And brightly marked. The green and yellow sideline flags flew proudly.

The car park officials would get a job in a Formula One pit stop. Lock hard. The queue for coffee at Café 57 stretched the length of the clubhouse.

The referee, Gavin Finnegan, was from Down. But not even the Mountains of Mourne couldn’t beat the lush green fields of the North County.

Jerome Quinn was up in the gantry. Taking in the spectacular views.

It was a big day for the county chairman, Joe Keane, and home town hero, Carla Rowe. Both from the Clann Mhuire club.

The friendly locals had one piece of advice for the copy. “Don’t refer to the locality as Naul. It’s THE Naul.”

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This field is required

Those who didn’t use ‘The Naul’ were immediately exposed as blow-ins.

Just on the throw-in, a gale blew up. Let go of the team-sheet and it could have ended up on Sean Boylan’s front lawn.

A decent-sized home crowd had come to see this famous Dublin team. And they were quickly made aware of their quality.

Dublin played against the stiff breeze which blew into the score board end in the first half, but they still led at half-time, 2-6 to 0-3.

Speed of hand and foot were at the core of Dublin’s display. And hard work.

In the opening seconds, Sinéad Aherne was in the Dublin full-back position. With number 15 on her back.

And it was that industry that created the first goal in the 15th minute.

Kate Sullivan managed to pinch a ball she had no right to. That was the start of the move.

And Rowe concluded it, low to the left corner. On the ground she loves so well.

Dublin’s display is top notch

Cavan manager, Gerry Moane, wasn’t slow to hand-pass the compliments in Dublin’s direction.

“They are a terrific team. All-Ireland contenders. No doubt about that,” reflected Gerry following Saturday’s contest at Clann Mhuire.

“We played with the wind in the first half to try and get some advantage. But Dublin played with such intensity that they made it very difficult for us to get out.

“They play the game at such pace. If we delayed at all in possession, there were two or three Dublin players surrounding our player.

“They have such experience. And we knew it was always going to be a difficult day coming to Dublin to play a team like Dublin. And it was their goals that were the big difference.

“The physicality they brought to it was second to none. They were so good in the tackle. But that’s what playing Division 1 football brings. That’s where we are striving to get to.”

Moane felt that there were many positives to be taken from the trip. “We are re-building. We had several young players coming onto the team and I thought they stood up really well,” he said.

“I was proud of their efforts. And we didn’t stop. From the first second to the last, despite the setbacks. We kept going.

“A game against such a calibre side as Dublin will bring us on. The more games you play the better. Especially against such quality opposition. That’s where you learn the most.”

Magical Féile times lifts Thomas Davis and Fins

The John West Féile carnival lifted the hearts of all this season. It was missed. Féile has a special place in the heartland of the parish.


Thomas Davis are Regional Division 2 Feile Football champions.

Thomas Davis are Regional Division 2 Feile Football champions.

Thomas Davis are Regional Division 2 Feile Football champions.

The Regional Féile also created magical memories, with Thomas Davis and Fingallians flying the Dublin flag high.

The two clubs travelled to Rathleague in Portlaoise. And both returned with the gold.

The deeds of the day are still echoing along the street in Tallaght and Swords. It’s all the talk in The Square. And on the 41 bus.

The Kiltipper Kids collected the Division 2 prize. “It was our first ever Regional Féile success,” explains Linda Walsh.

“It was such a historic day for the club.

“And it was pure joy when our captain, Alex Giglione, lifted the trophy.”

Dublin’s Niamh Collins was delighted to hear the news. She’s a Féile Ambassador. Her advice to every child was:” To go out there and enjoy it. Every second.”

The Thomas Davis and Fingallians players certainly did that. They brought so much pride to their clubs, and their families. And to themselves.

“Féile is such a huge part of Gaelic games,” states Niamh. “It has been for generations. So many children have got to experience its joy.”

“It was an excellent display against a very strong Celbridge side in the final,” relates Linda. The Fins were also in top form as they defeated Clara in the Division 3 final

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