herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

dubLIN's lucy IS A rare glasnevin gem

Na Fianna ace is making a favourable impact with Jackies and DCU

IT was an eventful year for Lucy Collins. Plenty of memories to pack into the 2014 suitcase.

She was part of the Dublin adventure that took the county to their first National League Division 1 final.

And then there was the scent of the Championship. It began in the Sunday sunshine of Johnstownbridge in Kildare.

Sinead Aherne was unmarkable that afternoon. She scored 3-6. Only one of her points came from play.

Lucy's Na Fianna's team-mate, Leah Caffrey, was also in blue. John Caffrey was on the terraces. So was Noel McCaffrey - both former Dublin seniors whose daughers were in action.

Noel's daughter, Sarah, was at midfield with Molly Lamb. It was Lucy's Championship debut.

The road led to the Leinster title and to her playing in the All-Ireland final in Croke Park.

She was making an impact coming off the bench. Now she's a commanding presence for Dublin. And indeed for DCU in the O'Connor Cup.

She reads the game well, and she's well able to pop over a free.

She brings a commendable attitude to the stage.

"It's all about putting in sixty minutes of good work," she notes.

"That is even more important than the result. Getting the performance right is the priority."

She is relishing being part of the Dublin set-up. And every day is a learning day.

"It's a tough league. There are some very good sides in it.

"It's all about doing our best for for the hour and driving on."

Lucy is chuffed with DCU as the Dublin HQ for training and matches.

"It's a brilliant venue. The facilities are first-class.

"And the staff are terrific. They make us feel so welcome. We are very comfortable there."

It's only a kick-out away from the Mobhi Road. Lucy has compiled a chapter of achievement there too.

She has played with some notable figures at the Glasnevin club. The maestro, Mary Nevin among them.

And All-Star, Bernie Finlay and Nora Stapleton, the Irish rugby international.

In 2011, Na Fianna beat Ballyboden St Enda's in the Dublin Senior Championship final. They won Leinster that season and advanced to the All-Ireland final. Carnacon, and a certain Cora Staunton, foiled them of ultimate glory.

The following year, Na Fianna lost the Dublin final to Foxrock Cabinteely. And it was the same outcome in 2013, falling in a replay to Fingallians.

THRILLER

Yet last term, Lucy helped Na Fianna overcome the Fox-Cabs in another thriller.

"The standard of Dublin football is so high.

"We were very disappointed to lose the Leinster final to Sarsfields of Kildare, but, overall, it was a good year for Na Fianna."

In that Leinster final at Clane, Tracey Lawlor delivered yet another master-class. She has long been in the Ladies Football Hall of Fame.

Lucy is making her own significant steps. She salutes the dedication of Katie Taylor.

Katie became a world champion in a converted boat-house. Lucy feels that the Dubs are also rowing in the right direction.

She is impressed with the depth of talent that's in the county.

"It's all about developing as a team now. The future is good for Dublin, and we are all looking forward to it."

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