Friday 20 July 2018

Dubs too hot to handle as Laois wilt in Croker clash

GAA fans Megan Valentine, Claire Hiney and Eimear Fitzpatrick from Templeogue, Dublin
GAA fans Megan Valentine, Claire Hiney and Eimear Fitzpatrick from Templeogue, Dublin

Laura Lynott

The Dubs rule Leinster football for a record eighth year in a row - with the Laois fans feeling the blues under azure skies.

The Laois supporters admitted the match was probably a foregone conclusion before it had even started.

As the temperature soared in Croke Park, their team found the Dubs stars too hot to handle and succumbed 1-25 to 0-10, allowing Blues captain Jonny Cooper to lift the cup.

The Leinster champions begin their quest for a fourth All-Ireland title in a row with another Croke Park date against newly crowned Ulster kings Donegal.

On a bumper weekend for football at headquarters on July 14-15, Munster title holders Kerry will face Connacht champions Galway as well.

The Blue Army are sure to be back out in force, having yesterday represented their side with style.

Zuzanna Tuszynska (16) and Danielle Keane (15) from Portlaoise
Zuzanna Tuszynska (16) and Danielle Keane (15) from Portlaoise

Sisters Catherine Clarke (53) and Emer Cuffe (41), from Raheny, wore eye-catching dresses made from Dublin flags and vowed they'd never auction them off even if their team's winning streak ended.

"The dresses were created by Catherine. She made a dress for me for my hen party because we were going to miss the Leinster final, because the bridesmaid, who wasn't a GAA fan, organised it for that date in July 2015 in Westmeath," Emer said.

"I was getting married in August in Dublin and after, Catherine saw she had enough flags left to make another dress for her. So, here we are.

"We said the dress is going for four in a row, as the team are."

The sisters' father, Con Clarker, was a county board chairman and as a result they have a real sense of team spirit.

They have been Dublin fans since they were little girls and the players have even helped them promote charity efforts to raise money for suicide-prevention work.

Meanwhile, Angie Hogan (43) travelled from Offaly with her children, Grace (11), Jamie (8), Sophie (6), and Grace's friend, Roxy Morris (11).

"This is a great day out for the kids and I take them as often as I can because tickets are only €5, so there's no reason for the kids not to be here. Being here, seeing their heroes play, makes them see how achievable that dream is for them," she said.

Irish Independent

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