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Dubs are on rise - Leacy

KEEP her swinging . . . for club and county. That's the advice for Dublin. It comes from a distinguished source - Mary Leacy, the decorated Wexford All-Star.

Camogie is in the blood. Her sister, Una, is also a Slaney superstar. As was their mother, Margaret O'Leary.

Margaret played for the famous Buffer's Alley. She won three All-Ireland titles with Wexford. She made the Team of the Century.

Mary and Una play on one of the best teams of this century, Oulart the Ballagh, who are, once again, in pursuit of All-Ireland gold. Following this year's OZO Dublin Senior 1 Championship final at St Peregrine's, the St Vincent's manager, Shane Dalton, the former Dublin hurler, did an unusual thing.

He went into the middle of the Ballyboden Braves and urged them to fly the blue flag with honour in the Leinster Championship.

They certainly did that, but Oulart, the All-Ireland champions, prevailed down in the Kildare Centre of Excellence in Newbridge.

Mary is the Oulart captain, and looking back on that game now she insists that the Dublin champions should take many positives from the encounter. "Definitely," states Mary.

"Going into that Leinster final, we were expecting a tough match, and that is exactly what Boden gave us. We weren't surprised at all. We have met Boden in the last couple of years, so we were well aware of what they could do. And they certainly didn't make it easy for us in Kildare.

"We had to put in 100pc to win it. That's what we said going out, and, thankfully, the girls did that. We had to keep fighting till the end of that game, and I'd say you wouldn't meet more formidable opponents than Boden.

Oulart are now the top side in the country. But it wasn't always like that. "It took us five years to win Leinster. We were very young when we won our county title, so it does take a while to get the knowledge and experience to push on from there. But now we have that experience."

Back in 2008, Boden did claim Leinster gold, but more capital provincial glory mightn't be all that far away, according to Mary.

"Camogie is developing well in Dublin. You can see that progress in the Dublin senior side. They showed terrific improvement last year by reaching the All-Ireland quarter-final. That's good to see. Dublin doing well is always a big boost for the sport."