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Jackies back on hard road

THE Jackies are too young to remember it, but that famous midfield duo, Peters and Lee, had a big hit with 'Welcome Home'.

It would have been appropriate to have played the song on the Dublin bus last Sunday morning. The Dubs were in Fermoy for a Tesco NFL Division 1 appointment.

Back on board were Siobhan McGrath and Denise Masterson. It's been a while since they last sang the blues.

Denise led the Blues to All-Ireland glory in 2010. Siobhan was a central figure as Thomas Davis stormed to All-Ireland junior gold last season.

"It's great that the two girls are back," said county chief, Paul Gilheaney. "They bring so much experience to the squad. Their presence alone with help the young players in the panel, and even when they came on last Sunday they made a difference."


When Siobhan and Denise entered the action, Dublin were looking up at Mount Everest... with Bray Head thrown in. Cork had come out of the blocks like Derval O'Rourke.

"They just got such a good start on us," admitted Paul. "In the first ten minutes they hit three or four goals. We were chasing it after that. It took us a while to get into the game, and when we did the damage was done.

"Yet when we eventually settled, we played some decent football.

"It was a far better performance from us in the second half. And we'll take the positives from that. It's all about taking the lessons on board and adopting them to our own game.

"We have said all along that it is a learning process.

"And the challenges don't come any bigger than playing the All-Ireland champions in their own back yard.

"Cork have set the bar. You can only learn from playing a top side like them. We are disappointed with the result but we are far from down and out.

"We have Monaghan now in a couple of weeks. That will be another big test. But, as I say, these are the counties we want to be playing.

"There is no value in us playing weaker counties. Division 1 is where we want to be. Every game there is difficult, but that's the way we are going to improve.

"We are happy with the progress we are making. Plenty of young players are seeing game time.

"We'll get back to the training ground again this week and continue to put in the work."