Galway Gems sparkle against Restless Dubs


Galway gems sparkle against restless Dubs

THERE is nobody who will dispute the worthiness
of Galway’s All-Ireland success. Unbeaten all
year in the Championship, Galway had to overcome
neighbours Mayo three times and 2001 champions
Laois en route to last Sunday’s Croke Park showdown
with Dublin. PJ Fahy’s polished gems were absolutely
superb in the second half of the final, with players
like Niamh Fahy, Annette Clarke, Lisa Cohill and
Niamh Duggan establishing themselves as some of
the finest players in the land.

The Association will have been pleased with last
Sunday’s finals day. Two cracking games were the
perfect advertisement for the game and an estimated
attendance of over 27,000 will have pleased those
who wish to promote Ladies Football. TG4 had an
average viewing figure of 208,000 for the Senior
final, up from 187,000 on last year, which was
then a record for the Irish language station.

For Dublin and manager John O’Leary, the next
few weeks and months will be difficult. Several
of Dublin’s players are nearing the end of their
careers and it will be extremely tough for them
to get back to the final in 2005, considering
Mayo will surely be back next year, while the
likes of Cork and Galway are forces to be reckoned
with. In saying that, the Dublin squad and management
have to be given credit where it is due for their
performances over the last two seasons.

Otherwise, the structures are in place in Ladies
football for Dublin to be competitive for the
next few seasons as recent underage triumphs show.
The game is booming in the capital with playing
numbers on the up and the last two successful
campaigns will have raised the profile of the
game in the city. Dublin will find it heartbreaking
not to have won an All-Ireland but their day will
surely come. Fiona Corcoran is only back a year
from the US while there is plenty more in the
likes of Mary Nevin, Bernie Finlay, Aisling McCormack
and Louise Keegan. However, Dublin will have to
unearth a gem or two between now and next spring
to prepare for another assault on the Brendan
Martin Cup.

For Galway, it will be a winter of celebrations.
Several players will pick up All-Stars and it
is hard not to see Galway competing for All-Ireland
glory in the next few seasons. It is difficult
to believe that Galway were Junior Champions only
two seasons ago and credit is due to PJ Fahy and
his selectors for the open, free-flowing football
the team plays.

This article was kindly submitted by the Irish



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