herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

'Dubliners love football' - showdown may see 40,000 fans

Mayo’s Sarah Tierney and Dublin’s Sinead Aherne with the cup. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Mayo’s Sarah Tierney and Dublin’s Sinead Aherne with the cup. Photo: SPORTSFILE

A bumper crowd of potentially 40,000 supporters could be set for Croke Park this weekend as Dublin take on Mayo in the ladies' All-Ireland final.

Ladies' Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) chiefs are confident of at least matching last year's attendance of 34,445 - and they believe it could be surpassed if the weather holds up.

The attendance has increased in each of the last three seasons, with the Dublin team participating in each showpiece event.

A spokesman for the LGFA told the Herald that ticket sales are going well at the moment and, if similar weather to last Sunday's men's final can be repeated, many fans will decide to go on the day.

The senior, intermediate and junior All-Ireland finals will all take place.

"There seems to be a lot of interest in tickets from the six competing counties," the spokesman said.

Progress

He added that, due to the nature of Dublin being in the senior final and Croke Park being in the capital, a lot of supporters could make a last-minute decision to attend.

"Anything approaching that [last year's figure] is a success, but we'll be happy if we can keep that progress," said the spokesman.

"Anything above that and we'll be delighted."

Fresh from his own All-Ireland success, Dublin forward Dean Rock called on fans to get behind the ladies this weekend.

"No excuses, everyone has to be there," said Rock.

Dublin ladies spokeswoman Patricia Monahan said that the backing of the men's team was nothing new and she could see 40,000 fans turning out for the big game on Sunday.

"They always play their part to support us," she said.

"There are friendships there through the clubs and the players are conscious of the role the fans play.

"The last three years the attendance figures have jumped up. We're blessed with terrific support in this county," she added, saying that Dublin people love Gaelic football, no matter if it's men's or women's.

The interest has also been ramped up due to the match being another clash between old rivals Dublin and Mayo.

However, this time it is Dublin hoping to end a run of consecutive All-Ireland final defeats to lift the Brendan Martin Cup.

The Girls in Blue have lost Cork in the past three finals. The games have usually been decided in heartbreaking fashion.

However, with Mayo dispatching Cork at the semi-final stage this year, a new All-Ireland winner will be crowned.

Tickets for the game can be bought from Tickets.ie or from SuperValu and Centra stores.

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