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Festival of Finals showcase talent

WHAT a swell party that was. Hats off to the Dublin Minor Board.

They staged 30 juvenile finals over the weekend. It turned into a Saturday and Sunday Spectacular.

It was a 'We Are Dublin' weekend wonderland.

Well over a thousand players laced up the boots. The action took place all across the city. Seven venues were used.

They were Faughs, the Phoenix Park, Naomh Mearnog, Kilmacud Crokes, Naomh Olaf, Naomh Brid and Meadowvale.

All the grounds were in super condition.

The games ranged from Under-13 to Under-16, and they were either championship or shield finals.

A souvenir programme was produced. It included all the team line-ups.

That's a lovely keep-sake for the years to come.

The skill overflowed. Big crowds added to the sense of occasion.

Encouragement echoed from every sideline. The way it should be.

And the spectators were in no doubt that the future of the game in the county has never looked better.

The 'A' standard is never in question. The cream of the county.

But the level in the B, C and D grades are also to be very much admired.

The improved coaching is emerging in all sectors.

All the crafts were on display. Blocking, hooking, control and shooting.

The quality of the sideline cuts tells the secret that the kids are practising the art.

One of the best decisions the Camogie folk ever made was to award two points for a sideline cut.

SKILL

It is a most delightful skill, one of the highlights of the sport.

And the children are relishing the challenge.

Ellie Young of St Jude's converted a sideline earlier this season in an Under-11 game at Mearnóg. Kerri Austin, who plays for the Under-9's of Naomh Maur, has completed the feat twice. Amber Leahy, the talented Naomh Fionnbarra player, also converted a sideline in the Under-15 Championship in September.

The All-Stars were on at Citywest on Saturday night, and there's every chance that many of the brilliant young players in action over the two days could well become All-Stars. Dublin have had three All-Stars over the years- Ciara Lucey, Louise O'Hara and Eimear Brannigan.

That's a trio that have brought such honour to the sport.

They have been the role models of the generations.

There were many potential Dubs thrilling the galleries in the juvenile finals.

Croke Park awaits.


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