Friday 18 October 2019

Singing in the rain: Jackies secure Dublin double

Three-in-a-row: Record 56,114 fans witness Dubs’ victory over Galway in dreadful conditions

Carla Rowe lifts the cup among Dublin fans at Croke Park. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Carla Rowe lifts the cup among Dublin fans at Croke Park. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Fiona Dillon at Croke Park

Dublin fans painted the town blue after the ladies' senior football team sealed the deal on their three-in-a-row bid at Croke Park yesterday.

The team saw off Galway to lift the Brendan Martin Cup after playing in miserable drizzly conditions at Croke Park.

It marked the end of an extraordinary sporting weekend in the city, coming less than 24 hours after the men's team succeeded in their drive-for-five against Kerry.

Some Dublin supporters joked on the way into the ladies' final yesterday that they had barely had time to go home before they were back again.

While last year produced a landmark attendance at a ladies' final - 50,141 - yesterday saw that record smashed with 56,114 turning out to support the teams despite the dismal weather, a contrast to the sun which shone down for the men's event.

There was disappointment for Galway supporters as the team failed to break through a strong Dublin defence to convert possession into points.

Galway fans Tess Mullins, from Menlough, Laura Scanlon, from Glinsk, and Leonie Higgins, from Corofin, before the match. Photo: Collins
Galway fans Tess Mullins, from Menlough, Laura Scanlon, from Glinsk, and Leonie Higgins, from Corofin, before the match. Photo: Collins

Dublin went into the game as favourites, and with the added pressure of trying to achieve three-in-a-row.

But on the day they proved they were up to the task, and it was 'Dublin in the Rare Ould Times' that blasted out as the victorious team lifted the cup.

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Among the supporters who enjoyed the day was Claire Heffernan-Cassidy, from Drumcondra, sister of Dublin player Kevin 'Heffo' Heffernan, who made his name as both a player and manager of the Dubs.

"The conditions were dreadful for them. I was really sorry for them because the pitch was slippy and the ball was greasy, and you have to make do with what you have. Both teams had to make do with that," she said.

A Dublin supporter cheers on her side. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
A Dublin supporter cheers on her side. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

She added that her brother would have loved to have seen the attendance at the final, which was amazing.

"It's just growing and growing for them," she said. "It was great to see the support for the ladies."

Meanwhile, Aoife O'Reilly (26), from Swords, said: "I thought it was a brilliant match. It was really, really competitive from both sides. It was just a pity about the weather conditions.

"The ball was very slippy and it meant it was difficult to hold possession.

All smiles: Lauren Magee celebrates with Dublin fans on the pitch after the victory over Galway. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
All smiles: Lauren Magee celebrates with Dublin fans on the pitch after the victory over Galway. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

"But Dublin and Galway put up a super fight and it was lucky that Dublin got over the line in the end."

She said the goals for Dublin settled their nerves.

Meanwhile, jubilant Dublin boss Mick Bohan hailed his team's elder stateswomen in the aftermath of their historic victory, the Jackies eventually coming out on top in a low-scoring battle.

They managed to keep Galway at arm's length as they ran out 2-03 to 0-04 winners, with a goal from Sinéad Goldrick in the first half getting the ball rolling,

"The older girls - the Sinead Ahernes, the Lyndseys, the Goldys on that panel have been unbelievable, the way they've brought the kids on," Bohan told TG4 after the trophy presentation.

Tracey Comer-Burke, from Clonberne in Galway, felt her team played well, adding: "I felt it was their game in the first half all the way, so there is just such disappointment."

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