Dublin have Rolls Royce in Rachel
RACHEL RUDDY can well remember emerging from the Croke Park tunnel four years ago, writes Niall Scully.
"It was amazing to hear the support and to see the sea of blue.
"It was lovely to see all the flags. It was a brilliant feeling to have that level of support on the day, and it would be great to get the same kind of backing on Sunday."
Rachel is a corner-back. One of the finest in the country.
She keeps it simple. And that's the hallmark of all the best corner-backs.
Focus is an essential part of the brief-case, and Rachel's temperament puts her at the top of the class.
This term, Dublin have defended with precision. They are not too generous with the cocktail sausages.
Rachel says they are getting a lot of practice……..in training!
Trying to curb the likes of Sinead Aherne and company is no picnic. "We have been getting such intense matches in training, and that's what you want.
"It's no fun running around after our forwards, but it's good practice for us when it comes to the games."
The nerves will start to bubble this week. "I'll be trying to stick to the same routine, but there is always that little bit of nerves.
"We'll be saying to the younger girls to treat it as just another match and to go out and try to play your normal game.
"You'll have all the pre-match stuff, but once that is out of the way, it's a question of getting on with it."
Cork know the feeling of the red carpet beneath their feet. And Rachel is predicting a hour that will be packed with highlights.
"I'm expecting a great show of football. Dublin v Cork is always a good match.
"The two games we have had this year were terrific. They are always so close and intense. And they go right till the last whistle.
Rachel has marked the best of them over the years, for club and county.
She enjoyed fruitful days with Ballyboden St Enda's, and she knows that the great Bill Daly will be looking down on the Jones's Road and kicking every ball.
Bill can rest assured that Rachel won't let him down.