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Friday 22 September 2017

League tilt throws up new rivals for Murphy

DUBLIN continue to sharpen their touch ahead of the National League next month.

They'll throw-in at home to Tipperary on February 26 before travelling to Galway on March 18. They'll then host Kilkenny on April 8 and they'll conclude the Group stage by welcoming Offaly to the capital on April 15.

Dublin boss, Denis Murphy, will be shaking hands with a couple of new managers this season. Joachim Kelly has stepped down from the Offaly post after a highly successful spell. Another decorated Offaly hurler has taken his place, John Troy.

Galway have installed Tony Ward who replaces Noel Finn. Ward's management unit includes one of Galway's greatest ever players, Sharon Glynn.

There's also a change in Cork with Paudie Murray of St Finbarr's taking over from Joe O'Brien. Paudie's sister, Aoife, is the noted Cork player, while their brother, Kevin, is a former county hurler.

The league structure will see two groups of four. The All-Ireland champions, Wexford, will be the favourites. They are seeking their fourth successive league title.

Dublin have won the league three times, 1979, '81 and '83. Cork hold the record with their seven titles on the trot (1995 to 2001).

Dublin's triumph in 1979 also created a record. The Dubs beat Limerick in the final at Russell Park, 0-6 to 0-0. Limerick are the only team never to have scored in the league final.

In '81, Dublin defeated Cork in the final, and two years later they were handsome winners over Wexford in the final. The '83 side was captained by Barbara Redmond, the sister of Camogie's president-elect, Aileen. Two other Redmond sisters played in that win, Yvonne and Ann.

The brilliant dead-ball specialist, Edel Murphy, sister of the present chief, Denis, was also on duty, as was current selector, Ann Colgan.

DUBLIN 1983 NATIONAL LEAGUE WINNERS: Yvonne Redmond; Ann Redmond, Germaine Noonan, Berni Toner, Catherine Docherty, Una Crowley, Mary Mernagh, Barbara Redmond, Edel Murphy, Ann Colgan, Marion Conroy, Joan Gormley.

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