Sunday 21 January 2018

Rebelettes defeat Dubs as crowd of 31,000 creates history

Jane O'Faherty

The crowds outside Croke Park on Sunday may not have rivalled those at the previous week's clash between Dublin and Kerry, but they succeeded in making Ladies GAA history.

A total of 31,083 fans came to the All-Ireland Ladies' Football Final between Cork and Dublin, which broke the record for attendance at a female sporting event in Europe in 2015.

Louth triumphed with a 4-12 to 0-2 victory over Scotland in the contest for the junior title, while Waterford secured a 3-14 to 0-10 win over Kildare in the Intermediate Final. But by 4pm, all eyes were on the Senior Final between Cork and Dublin.

Moments before the throw-in, Clodagh Mulholland, from Rathfarnham, believed that payback for last year's defeat was within Dublin's grasp, but she was among the sea of blue left devastated at the final whistle.

After a close, goalless game, Cork managed to snatch the senior title away from Dublin, winning by 0-12 to 0-10. It was the 10th time the Rebelletes had won the championship in 11 seasons.

Donal Cronin from Glanmire, Co Cork, said he was "thrilled with the win".

Cork fans celebrate as Áine O'Sullivan, Cork, holds the Brendan Martin cup aloft. Photo: Dáire Brennan
Cork fans celebrate as Áine O'Sullivan, Cork, holds the Brendan Martin cup aloft. Photo: Dáire Brennan
Dublin footballer Alan Brogan with his son Jamie (6) at Croke Park

"The first half was too tidy, too tight. The second half opened up a bit, but either one of them could have done it," he said.

"Dublin could have won it as easily as Cork could have won it. It was a melting pot up until the last minute." Mary Dullea, from Clonakilty, predicted the game would be a tight one, but said it was "disappointing" that female GAA players did not always get the same recognition as their male counterparts.

"Everybody's good if not better than the men. They're fantastic and they put so much into it. It's a pleasure to watch them," she added.

Oisín Ó Múrchú brought the under-12 and 13 girls' teams from Fingallions GAA Club in Swords, Co Dublin, who cheered on club members as they took on St Brigid's from Limerick in the Gaelic4Mothers and Others game during half time. St Maur's in Rush, Co Dublin, took on Ballingarry, Co Tipperary during the intermediate final.

"If Dublin had put the last couple of points over, then it would have been a very different last minute. But that's the way it goes. Cork know how to win matches like that, and Dublin just don't," Oisín added.

Irish Independent

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