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Friday 13 December 2019

Trant delights in role of guarding Dublin Castle

THEY SHALL NOT PASS: Dublin goalkeeper Ciara Trant. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
THEY SHALL NOT PASS: Dublin goalkeeper Ciara Trant. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Ciara Trant is relishing the thought of running out onto the Croke Park pitch on Sunday.

Dublin against Cork in the TG4 Ladies' Football All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final.

No less than Dublin v Kerry in the men's, the match that everybody wants to see.

"It's nice to be a part of history," says Ciara, Dublin's number one with two All-Ireland senior medals in the cabinet.

"It's the first time the semi-finals have been played in Croke Park. And hopefully there will be a big crowd.

"They are going to get good value anyway with the two semi-finals on. It's quite rare that you get to see four top teams on the one day."

Galway against Mayo will lift the curtain at 2.0. All seeking a ticket to the big day on September 15.

"There is a lot to play for," notes Ciara. "Nobody remembers the losing semi-finalists. You only remember who got to the final."

Ciara has played in four finals. Losing to Cork in 2015 and 2016 before beating Mayo in 2017 and Cork last season.

This term, things have been going nicely for the Dubs. "We are playing well, but it's all about doing better," she states.

"We beat Kerry in the quarter-final, but we knew after that match that we had a lot to work on.

"It's going to be a big step up now against Cork. We'll need to really perform on the day. Anything less will not be good enough."

Cork contain celebrated personnel, among them Orla Finn who scored 13 points against Dublin in the League semi-final, 12 of them frees. Cork won by a point.

Cork's procession of young players never stops. But Dublin's strength in depth pleases the Brigid's 'keeper. "The subs that came on against Kerry in Tullamore made a good impact.

"Niamh Hetherton scored a goal, Oonagh Whyte and Kate Sullivan each scored a couple of points, while Caoimhe O'Connor and Emma McDonagh also did very well.

"It's great when you have players like that who can come off the bench and add to the team. It's a fitting reward for all the work that they put in in training.

"And it helps the whole team when you have a strong squad with players that can push everybody on."

Ciara packs experience into the kit bag. And she's the first to commend the security crew that protects Dublin Castle .

Dublin defenders don't believe in wasting any crumbs. But all the Dublin players do their share of defending, no matter what number they wear on the shirt.

And Ciara feels such industry is needed in the modern game. "Football has changed so much, even from when we won our first All-Ireland.

"It has moved on. From our point of view, we place a high value on working on our skills."

Possession is also a priority. And that often starts from the goalkeeper. Ciara's deliveries always arrive through the letter-box.

All-Ireland LADIES' SEMI

Dublin v Cork (Sunday)
Live TG4/eir Sport (3.45)

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