Mighty Mairi inspires Dubs
PRE-MATCH drama in Donnycarney last Saturday. Word reached Parnell Park that the Clare bus had broken down.
The Group 1 Division 1 National League match had to be put back, but only by 15 minutes.
When it was over, Dublin had secured their first win of the season, 2-6 to 1-8, in a tremendous tussle.
It was a memorable day for new Dublin boss, Clare native John Hunt, and his management crew, who included Brendan Cooper.
Up the M1 in Dundalk, Brendan's son, Jonny, was the captain and hero for the Dublin under-21 footballers in their victory over Louth.
Back in the Dublin HQ, the Blues had found a two-goal hero of their own, Mairi Moynihan, who settled superbly into her full-forward role. It only took her 17 seconds to rattle the Banner net.
She had her second goal in the eighth minute, again set up by the genial Joelenne Hoary. Miriam Twomey was also working hard.
Deirdre Murphy was excelling for Clare. She's one of the most elegant stick-smiths in the country.
She got the Clare goal. The visitors led at the break, 1-7 to 2-1.
Dublin were defending with gusto. Goalkeeper, Stephanie Carthy, and her back six were all on overtime.
Both sides were giving it socks. The game was there for the taking. Clare managed to pull away with only a few fences left. Four points up.
Ciara Burgess was moved to midfield. It worked a treat.
Her blistering pace gave Clare problems. Dublin kept knocking on the door, but there was nobody home. The shares weren't being turned to profit.
That was until Louise O'Hara drove over an inspirational point. How often has the Queen of the Parish done that.
Hoary ticked on another point. The introduction of Amy Murphy helped. She scored a super point. Only a point between them. The Dubs were fairly motoring at this stage. Sarah Ryan was having more of a say in the script.
There was a crackling atmosphere in the stand.
Coming to the last bell, the sides were level after a close-range Hoary free. Then Dublin earned a free out wide on the 45m line. 59 minutes on the clock. Cometh the hour, cometh the woman, Ciara Lucey, Dublin's first All-Star.
Ciara bent and struck. The sliotar carried the approval of Phil 'The Power' Taylor. Parnell erupted. Hats in the air.
But there was still some housework to be done.
The home followers thought the final whistle would never sound. When it did, there were arms in the air.
Clare warmly shook the hands of their opponents. Always such supreme sports people.
In the Dublin dressing-room, the sound of Mundy filled the air. The Galway girls arrive in the capital next Sunday.
They'll have AA Roadwatch on the job.
Dublin: Stephanie Carthy; Gráinne Quinn, Tara Corrigan, Jean Murphy; Catriona Power, Elaine O'Meara, Rachel Costello; Louise O'Hara (0-1), Ciara Lucey (0-1f); Ciara Burgess, Sarah Ryan, Aoife Kelly; Miriam Twomey, Mairi Moynihan (2-0), Joelenne Hoary (0-3,2f). Subs used: Amy Murphy (0-1), Sherry Mannion.