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Ladies football championship ready for big throw-in

Foxrock Cabinteely are chasing an eighth title on the spin but they certainly won’t have everything their own way


Katie McNally of Foxrock Cabinteely. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Katie McNally of Foxrock Cabinteely. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Katie McNally of Foxrock Cabinteely. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

THE big throw-in. The Go-Ahead Dublin Senior Championship. The Michael Murphy Memorial Cup. The biggest prize in Dublin ladies’ football.

Foxrock Cabinteely have brought the game to new heights. Like Portobello and Ballyboden St Enda’s before them.

In 1999, Portobello completed the five-in-a-row. And in 2008, Boden did the nine-in-a-row.

Last year, the Fox Cabs did the seven-in-a-row. It was one of their hardest triumphs of all. They beat Na Fianna by three points in the Parnell Park final, Katie McNally getting the golden goal.

It was a compelling spectacle. Na Fianna had plenty of possession. The Foxes had to dig deep. Like all the great champions do.

Tarah O’Sullivan had the game of her life. The Foxrock centre half-back was as vigilant as a lighthouse keeper and was selected as the player of the match.

In their group game last season, Na Fianna won by a point. It was Foxrock’s first championship defeat since 2014. 

The teams meet again tomorrow night. Na Fianna at home. The opening game in Group B.

Last season, one of the most impressive performances came from the Glasnevin club as they defeated Kilmacud Crokes in a group game late into a winter’s night at Bray.

Leah Caffrey and Hannah Tyrrell made telling contributions to that victory in an intriguing duel that thrilled from start to finish.

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Now the city will come alive over the next five weeks as the Wednesday Night Special is sure to serve up some top-class games.

“It’s great that the championship is being run every week. There’s no hanging around. The players, and everybody concerned, favour that schedule,” states Pat Kane of Clanna Gael Fontenoy.

Kane is not in the bainisteoir’s bib this term but, no doubt, he’ll be on the terraces as the Ringsend club begin their campaign away to Thomas Davis in Group A, which also sees Cuala host St Brigid’s. Kilmacud Crokes are also in Group A.

In the other Group B match, Ballyboden St Enda’s welcome St Sylvester’s. Clontarf are also in the section. Syls won the intermediate title last October, producing a brilliant display against Castleknock at St Margaret’s.

Sinéad Aherne was at her majestic best on that Sunday afternoon – scoring a hat-trick of goals, including two penalties.

The great Niamh McEvoy contributed much to the victory. As always, the creator-in-chief. Last week, she became a mother. And the messages of goodwill overflowed for herself, Dean Rock, and their new daughter, Sadie.

Syls went on to lift the Leinster and All-Ireland titles, mirroring what St Jude’s did in the junior grade.

That success confirms the quality of the Dublin championship. “It’s a very high standard,” says Kane.

“We have had some great games down through the years, and we are sure to have a few more in this year’s championship. It’s a wonderful competition.

“I feel the standards are levelling out. And on any given day, teams are capable of beating each other.”

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