Tuesday 16 January 2018

Capital enjoys best hurling party in 52 years

Enda Dowling

THERE was a party atmosphere all over the capital last night after Dublin claimed their first Leinster hurling crown in 52 years.

In the absence of Kilkenny's all-conquering Cats from this fixture for the first time in nine years, a fantastic crowd of 52,359 passed through the turnstiles of Croke Park to watch the Dubs take on Galway in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship final.

It was the fans of the mighty boys in blue that were responsible for most of the noise coming out of Drumcondra, as they celebrated a massive 12-point win to lift the Bob O'Keeffe Cup.

"That was just amazing," said Amy Teahan from Ballinteer. "There are not many Dublin fans around who can say they witnessed our hurlers win a Leinster."

Boyfriend Niall McNamara was optimistic of what his county can now achieve in the months to come. "After beating Kilkenny already, this has to be the year we win the All-Ireland."

Galway women Sarah Leonard and Triona Darcy bemoaned their hurlers' bad luck on the attendance of their friend Emma O'Neill from Kilmainham.

"I knew this would happen. It will be a long time before I hear the end of this let me tell you," laughed Triona.

Orla-Marie Magan, from Rathfarnham, was fiercely impressed by the performances of both teams' goalkeepers. "The saves that were made were awesome. It's nothing compared with what I'm capable of, mind," quipped the Three Rock Rovers ladies' hockey keeper.

"It made for a pretty nervy match at times, but the Dubs were great."

Despite the loss, friends Brid Ni Chulain and Deirdre Faherty, from Connemara, were proud of their team's efforts and remain hopeful for Galway's chances in the qualifiers.

"I had a little bit of a feeling that was coming," said Deirdre. "But remember last year? Kilkenny lost the Leinster final to Galway and then went on to win the All-Ireland. Who's to say we won't do the same?"

Friends Nicole Grogan and Kathlyn Keogh (both 11) were very excited with the win, but it wasn't enough to ease the pain of Nicole's broken wrist that she got from cycling around North Cumberland Street.

Tallaght woman Carol Redmond and her niece Amy Galvin (7), from Cabra, were "thrilled" with how the match had gone. "With 2-21 from play, we could have beaten anybody with scoring like that," Carol said.

Irish Independent

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