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Rebelettes worthy successors to Kerry greats

IF Afternoon Tea with Michael D wasn't enough, Cork were then featured on RTé'S Six-One Sportsnews.

The piece didn't leave any doubt about their commitment ... and conviction. Across the dance floor, even at this early stage, they only have eyes for Brendan Martin.

A Cork defeat is as rare as a tax rebate. They suffered one already this term. That might be their lot for 2013.

Monaghan beat them. The Rebels were frowning when they met the Dubs.

The backlash quickly put Dublin on the back foot. Cork were back to their old selves. That's not good news for the rest of lades football.

But their presence and sheer professionalism has been a blessing for the sport. They have raised the bar ... and the profile. Are they the greatest team to have played the game? Many would say they are.

"Cork are the benchmark. Everybody strives to be like them," notes Dublin boss, Paul Gilheaney.

In the modern era, it's alone they stand. When ladies football began back in the 1970s, Kerry were the Queens of country.

They won nine All-Irelands in-a-row and 11 in all. "I know Cork have not matched that record yet, but what they have done is just fantastic," adds Paul.

"Cork are like the Kilkenny hurlers. They have set such high standards, and they keep on setting them. What they have done is all down to hard work, and that's the lesson for everybody. They have been unreal and, without doubt, the best team of their time."

Greatness

When Kerry were in their pomp, the world, and ladies football, was a different place. But that is not to diminish their greatness. Mary Jo Curran will always be at home in the Hall of Fame. She was the original Kerry dancer. The Kingdom women were the pioneers. They had all the grace of the Harlem Globetrotters.

The crowds were smaller then. Ladies football only got a few paragraphs. The All-Ireland finals weren't even played in Croke Park.

But when the biggest day eventually led to the red carpet, Kerry turned it into an annual pilgrimage.

No team could touch them. They were the Invincibles. The beauty of their play got people talking.

They put Ladies Football was on the Sat Nav. And this remarkable group of girls became Wonderwomen.

Kerry were the best of their day. Cork now hold the torch. Two counties that keep on serving up generous helpings of Munster Mash.


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