Monday 20 November 2017

'84 heroes come into their 'Own'

IN Mary Moran's classical 'A Game of Our Own -- Camogie's Story', there's a coloured picture of Berni Toner rising high to block the sliotar in the old Parnell Park.

It was the summer of 1984. The new stand was many years away, and spectators stood on the grass bank. Dublin beat Kilkenny that day before accounting for Limerick.

They then returned to Parnell Park where a late Joan Gormley goal saw them progress to the All-Ireland final. It was a sweet victory over Cork, who had foiled the Blues in the previous two finals.

Dublin were going well in the '83 final when midfielder, Una Crowley, sustained a freak injury. Her dangling earring got caught in her jersey as she fell, tearing her ear lobe. Walking out in Croke Park for the '84 final, Dublin's captain, Ann Colgan, and Tipperary's skipper, Deirdre Lane, were team-mates at Celtic. Dublin won their first O'Duffy Cup since 1966, 5-9 to 2-4.

Ann is the current Dublin selector. The sister of the present Dublin manager, Denis Murphy, Edel, hit seven points. Mary Mernagh is a grand-daughter of Tom Mernagh, who won three All-Ireland senior football medals with Wexford, while Marie Connell, Senan's sister, played in the Dublin attack.

The distinguished former Dublin hurler, Christy Hayes, managed Dublin. He had the girls super-fit. The training sessions in the Long Meadows were punishing.

Dublin had the job more than half done at the break, 3-5 to 0-2. Lane cracked in two penalties for Tipp after the tea. Jenny English, first cousin of Nicky, struck two points for the Premier. Highlights of the game were shown on RTé that evening. It was the old 12-a-side, small-goals format. It was Dublin's last taste of All-Ireland senior glory.

Dublin 1984: Yvonne Redmond; Marion Conroy, Germaine Noonan, Berni Toner, Catherine Ledwidge, Una Crowley, Mary Mernagh, Barbara Redmond, Joan Gormley, Ann Colgan, Edel Murphy, Marie Connell. Subs used: Toni O'Byrne, Noreen Fleming.

p 'A Game of Our Own -- Camogie's Story,' can be purchased by contacting the Camogie Association on 01-8658651.

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