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Monday 23 October 2017

Dubliners' hearts broken as gutsy rebels come back from dead

Sinead Goldrick, left, consoles Niamh McEvoy after the game.
Sinead Goldrick, left, consoles Niamh McEvoy after the game.

Dubs fans were left heartbroken after seeing victory snatched from the ladies team in the All-Ireland Senior Football Final at Croke Park.

Eamonn Ryan's Cork side came from 10 points down to claim victory against the Dubs, capturing a ninth title in 10 seasons.

With 15 minutes remaining, Cork had trailed by 0-6 to 2-10, and Dublin were on the verge of their second senior success.

But the Leesiders managed a remarkable comeback, and in the end it was just one point that separated the winners from the losers.

It was a devastating loss for the Leinster champions, with a final score of 2-13 to 2-12.

But it was Cork's day and the Rebel County fans couldn't have been more relieved as they exited Croke Park.

Dubs supporter Ray Reardon (36) from Tallaght was with his daughter Ruby, who was celebrating her fifth birthday. A disappointed Ray said the match "was brilliant".

But he said: "It is a pity, though, that there weren't more supporters at it, but I know 27,000 is good.

"The goals were the highlight of the match. Cork dominated the kickouts," said Ray.

Meanwhile, Declan Cooling (54) was at the match with supporters from the Binn Eadair GAA club in Howth, including his daughter Emma (8). "I am very disappointed," he said about the result. "They played really well. We brought 40 girls from the club."

Miriam Ryan (59) from Blanchardstown said she thought Dublin "threw the game away".

"They got too complacent," she told the Herald. "It was a very exciting game, but I do think they threw it away."

Meanwhile, Anne-Marie Kelly (18) from Ballsbridge said: "It was a really good match. I was disappointed that Cork came out strong in the end. Dublin played very well. I came to support a few friends who were playing."

Victory

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown councillor Deirdre Donnelly (47) from Mount Merrion said: "They were doing so well in the first half, and we really thought we would have a victory for Dublin. I think if we had another few minutes, we could have at least had a draw.

"They were so close and they didn't quite make it, but I thought they played really, really well, and the goalkeeper in particular was brilliant. It's a sad day for the Dubs."

But the Cork fans had the final word. Katie Murphy (37) from Grenagh with her daughters Zoe (6) and Vada (7) were thrilled with the result.

"It was brilliant, so exciting. I am so happy. We thought that we had it lost," said Katie. "We were worried at half time. We always support the ladies."

Ellen O'Keeffe (38), from Glenville, County Cork, and her daughter Sophie (9) were over the moon.

"It was fantastic, they were absolutely brilliant. The last 15 minutes, they came alive," she said. "I do feel sorry for the Dubs, to lose with just one point in it. I think Cork held it together."

Cork-based Mossie O'Sullivan, the chairman of the Bride Rovers football and camogie club, said that they brought 50 supporters on the bus to the game. "I am thrilled, relieved and delighted at the come-back. It was brilliant."

"We had Grace Kearney starting as a full forward, and two subs," he said. Mr O'Sullivan attributed the success of the team to the "shrewd switches" of the Cork manager Eamonn Ryan. He said: "The girls he brought on, everyone one of them scored," he said.

fdillon@herald.ie

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