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Saturday 21 October 2017

Kerrygold is served with Afternoon Tea

Despite second defeat, Dublin have many positives to focus on

THE Legion Club in Killarney lies only a Mary Jo Curran hand-pass away from Fitzgerald Stadium.

Everybody was asking why no Sunday double-bill?

Mary Jo played football like Mick O'Connell. She was the sport's Princess Grace.

She was the game's first superstar. She'll always walk in the Hall of Fame.

She was in Birr last August when Dublin beat Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

DIFFICULT

The sun shone that day. Conditions were more difficult in Killarney.

Kerry prevailed, 3-11 to 2-8. The hour would have done justice to the big house down the road.

The Kerry manager is Alan O'Neill. He's not short of Kerrygold.

In that August quarter-final, Patrice Dennehy was in excellent form.

She plays for Laune Rangers, and she again did Killorglin proud here.

Kerry have another top players in Bernie Breen, Louise Galvin, Lorraine Scanlon, Louise Ni Muircheartaigh and Sarah Houlihan.

And young Megan O'Connell is also making quite an impression. They don't call her the Southern Star for nothing.

Kerry finished the contest strongly. The teams were level at the break on 2-6 each. It was Galvin's goal, 17 minutes into the second half, that really put the wind in the home sails.

It was Dublin's second defeat from four outings in Division 1 of the Tesco Homegrown National League.

But the manager of the Jackies, Gregory McGonigle, is not frowning.

Before a ball was kicked in this season's competition, he said there was going to be bumps on the road.

Last year, Dublin reached their first-ever Division 1 League final. Coupled with going to Croke Park.

Yet the Blues are still playing very much without a full hand. Several of the starting 15 from the All-Ireland final are not available.

And twelve of Sunday's squad were involved in the O'Connor Cup last Thursday.

The defeats have come against Mayo and Kerry, two top teams.

The opening day win over Monaghan was a comprehensive one at DCU. And then there was a worthy draw away to Galway.

Gregory has stated that the League is the perfect stage to see how the new young players can cope at this level.

Dublin's next assignment is away to Laois on March 15. They are then home to Tyrone and away to Cork.

Dublin's first half goals came from the captain, Lyndsey Davey, and Carla Rowe.

Houlihan and Dennehy scored the Kerry goals in a half of splendid entertainment.

Kerry dominated thereafter. And they took some tidy scores.

Yet playing against such a fine side can only help the young Dublin girls develop.

Olwen Carey of Thomas Davis played in defence. And so did Muireann Ni Scanaill from St Margaret's.

Hannah Noonan of Foxrock Cabinteely earned a spot in attack alongside the accomplished Niamh McEvoy.

The Dubs have moulded a nice blend.

So much wisdom is brought to the table by the likes of Sorcha Furlong, Sinead Goldrick, Sinead Finnegan and Noelle Healy.

New recruits can only thrive in such company, especially when the scent of the championship fills the air.

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