herald

Friday 27 April 2018

All roads lead to Kilbogget Park for Na Fianna

THE 2009 Dublin Ladies Senior Football Championship final was one of the best of all time.

Na Fianna beat Mearnóg by a point. It was thrilling stuff under the Parnell Park lights.

The hour’s football confirmed how far the game had progressed. There was an electric tempo to the action.

It was the first title for the Glasnevin girls. They had been runners-up three times before – in 2000, 2005 and 2008 – all to the great Ballyboden nine-in-a-row side. Last year it was Boden, on their way to their 10th crown, who defeated the Mobhi maestros in the replayed semi-final. Na Fianna are now back in the last four.

Next month they’ll travel to Kilbogget Park to face Foxrock- Cabinteely in the Tesco Senior Championship semi-final. It should be a contest to savour.

Like the Fox-Cabs, Na Fianna have been preparing diligently.

“We have been together since late January and the girls have been plugging away ever since,” notes mentor, Louise Kearns.

“So far so good.

COMMITTED

“We have 24 in the squad and we have had minor players coming through, which is nice to see.

“Overall things have been going well and it’s great to be in the semifinal. We are all looking forward to it. “It is an away game for us and we’ll prepare as well as we can.

“We’ll keep working away. The girls are very committed.”

Louise says that such dedication has raised the footballing bar all over the city in the last few seasons.

“The standards have improved,” stresses Louise. “There’s no doubt about that. But it’s just not in terms of the football.

“It’s the attention to fitness and the overall approach to the sport that has made the difference.”

In that department, Na Fianna have their very own role model, Mary Nevin, the pride of the Jackies.

On and off the pitch, Mary’s attitude continues to see her prosper at the top level. Back in that 2009 final, she was the top teller. The other semi-final sees the champions, ’Boden, hosting Clanna Gael Fontenoy, whose crucial victory came against Mearnóg.

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