Sunday 20 January 2019

Dubs can hold off the Rebels in final battle



(Croke Park, Tomorrow, 4.0, live TG4, live Dublin City FM 103.2)

THE managers, Eamonn Ryan and Gregory McGonigle, know each other well. Ryan, the grand master of the ladies game, rates Dublin.

This is their third meeting this season. Last March, the sides drew in the league at Parnell Park. In May, Cork beat the Dubs by two points in the league final.

This is the marquee match. The game that the sport wanted to see. Mick Hanley will be live at ringside for Dublin City FM (103.2).

In the 2009 All-Ireland final, there wasn't a sausage between them. Cork edged it by a point.

The legendary Leesiders have a habit of closing out tight matches. When the chips are down, the Rebels stand up.

They are seeking their ninth All-Ireland title and the four-in-a-row. But for Dublin's triumph in 2010, Cork would now be chasing the ten-in-a-row. Not even Kerry, with Mary Jo Curran in her pomp, managed that. The Kingdom won nine titles on the trot from 1982 to 1990.

This is Dublin's fifth final. Everything went right against Tyrone in 2010. Manager, Gerry McGill, had dotted every i and crossed every t.

The new Blues boss has had a marvellous first season in the city. He guided the Jackies to their first National League Division 1 final and he got them past the All-Ireland quarter-final stage for the first time since 2010.

He achieved much with Monaghan. And he has enhanced the Dubs with an admirable work ethic, an adventurous, slick style and a dash of youth.

Dublin's defence wouldn't give you a grape. It includes the skipper, Sinead Goldrick,

Sinead was injured for part of the current campaign. She made her comeback in the Leinster final against Laois.

And within seconds of landing, her swashbuckling style had taken the game by the collar. Bursting forward from the half-back line, her pace and power scatters the pigeons.

"We have huge respect for what Cork have achieved. But for us, it's all about performing on the day," states Sinead.


"We had to step it up in the All-Ireland quarter-final and semi-final. Those games against Kerry and Galway will stand to us.

"The All-Ireland final is such a big occasion. But it's important not to build it up too much. When it comes down to it, it's all about 60 minutes of football.

The pace of Noelle Healy is also a capital asset. And the class of Sinead Aherne is cherished by all. The power and vision of Lindsay Peat can open doors, and the likes of Lyndsey Davey and Carla Rowe can profit.

Cork always show the resolve of champions. Their rearguard is backboned by Angela Walsh, Brid Stack and Geraldine O'Flynn.

Rena Buckley and Briege Corkery are a formidable duo, while major contributions are never far from the boots of Ciara O'Sullivan, Deirdre O'Reilly and Valerie Mulcahy.


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