Saturday 19 January 2019

Honest effort brings reward

CHAMPIONSHIP time in the city. The cream of the county are in action.

The quality of the Senior 1 Championship has improved so much in recent times.

Last year's final between Ballyboden St Enda's and St Vincent's was a topper.

A strong club scene owes much to the hard work that has been going on at underage inter-county level.

Players have more skill in the sticks. Their first touch is golden and they can strike the sliotar with the sting of a wasp.

Such a sight sees a welcome rainbow lingering over the Liffey.

Dave Pearson is at the capital's coalface. This season he was on the management of the county's All-Ireland Junior Premier side, and on the two Dublin U16 teams.

He looks to the future with more than optimism. He feels the effort will lead to profit.

"I have no doubt that many of the U16 players will be playing for the Dublin team in Croke Park in a few years." It's a statement that is built on cement. And countless hours on the training ground.

"They have been putting in the work since U13 level. 7.30am training sessions. Their commitment is a credit to them."

And so is the ethic of Team Dublin. "The coaches, the clubs and the parents have been fantastic. They have all done such fabulous work."

Tipperary beat Galway in the All-Ireland U-16 Championship final.

Reflecting on the campaign, Dave underlines the conviction of the group, despite a tough draw.

"We had to go to Cork. We had them on the ropes, but they pulled away in the last ten minutes.

"We also travelled to Clare. Clare were excellent on the day. They were well ahead of us on that occasion.

"The home win against Kilkenny was tremendous. That was a super display.

"And our last home match against Galway could have gone either way. They edged it in the end.

"Overall, it was one win from four. There were a lot of ups and downs. We are very proud of the girls. They have come a long way."

And they have plenty of more miles to go.

Now the club scene has taken centre-stage. Boden have been senior champs for the last four years.

They have made a bright start to this season's campaign, accounting for Naomh Mearnog at Portmarnock.

Boden will host St Brigid's on Sunday. Brigid's lost their opening tie against Na Fianna in Russell Park.

In Group 2, St Vincent's will welcome Raheny. Vins returned from Lucan with full points, while Raheny were beaten at home by St Oliver Plunkett's/ER.

Plunkett's at home to Lucan on Sunday morning will be worth the bus fare.

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