Graduation dinner for “Dream Team”



dinner for “Dream Team”


week Fr. Liam Kelleher hosted a graduation dinner
for a fantastic bunch of girls who affectionately
became known as the “Dream Team”, of ladies Football,
during their fantastic run of success in 2000,
culminating in being crowned all Ireland under
14 champions. Most of that squad went on to win
the All-Ireland under 16 title and two All-Ireland
minor titles.

As manager of all those teams, Fr. Liam felt that
they deserved to be honoured for their outstanding
run of successes as most of them bid farewell
to underage ranks and graduate to Senior level.
Indeed all of that squad apart from three, have
already many Senior games for Cork under their
belt. When that bunch first assembled at Grenagh
in November 1999 and those now famous words were
issued. ’If you are not able to run for 10 minutes
without stopping don’t come back next week.” they
all came back and the rest they say as history.

group gathered at the Castle Hotel Macroom
for the Graduation Dinner for the “Dream

first game against Tipperary was also played in
Grenagh the following April and while Cork chalked
up a score of 8-34 to 0-0 against a weak Tipperary
team, it was obvious that something special, was
about to unfold. Limerick were the next victims,
Cork 3-20 Limerick 0-0 followed by Clare 8-19
to 0-1 then Kerry 7-13 to 5-2, Waterford were
the next to succumb to an 8-16 to 3-5 scoreline,
Kerry were defeated again in the Munster final
2-17 to 1-5. Cork overcame Meath in the All-Ireland
semi-final 6-11 to 0-3, with Cork winning the
All-Ireland on a scoreline of 6-12 to Mayo’s 1-4.
Cork went on to win the under 14 All-Ireland blitz
defeating Galway 8-2 to 0-1 in the final. That
Galway squad included 7 of the team that won Galway’s
first Senior All-Ireland title in 2004.

Cork’s record in both competitions in 2000 was:
Played 13 won 13. Scores for 78 goals 182 points
Against 13 goals 26 points. Exactly the same 15
started in the exact same positions in the All-Ireland
final, against Mayo, as had started against Tipperary
in the first round. They had truly earned the
title of the “Dream Team”

Remarkably 14 of the starting team of 2000 were
on the Minor All-Ireland winning squad of 2004
plus 3 of the subs. For the record those girls
were. Claire 0’ Donoghue, Elaine O’Riordan, Niamh
Canty, Niamh Keohane, Brid Stack, Margaret Murphy,
Norita Kelly, Geraldine O’Flynn, Briege Corkery
Marie O’ Neill, Laura Power, Catriona Foley, Sile
Burns, Laura O’Mahony, Amanda Murphy, Rena Buckley,
Catriona O’Connell. Remarkably 14 have played
Senior with Cork.

In 2002 Cork again swept all before them to win
the All-Ireland under 16 title, defeating Galway
in the final by 5-14 to 1-6. and in 2003 and 2004
the Minor titles were garnered in equally impressive
fashion with victories over Mayo and Laois. Coach
to all those teams was Charlie Laughlin and Christy
0’Sullivan was a selector in all 4. Sile Quinlan
made a huge contribution, for three of the successes
as a selector while Mary Power was on board for
the 2 minor wins. and Tricia O’Callaghan palying
an important role as Physio.

Fr. Liam thanked the girls, their clubs their
families for the huge commitment and enjoyment,
they gave over the years and wished them well
in their quest for All-Ireland Senior honours,
and regretted he was not given the opportunity,
to bring them to that level and will be in a rival
camp for the coming year.

Charlie McLaughlin who contributed so much to
the development through the Summer camps, School
of excellence and dedicated coaching was also
loud in his praise of the girls, he stated they
had come as shy 13 and 14 year old girls and now
they have grown up to be lovely ladies, with most
of them driving to the function. He said he would
never forget the friendship and especially the
celebration of mass after each of the All-Ireland

Christy O’Sullivan also added his thanks and wished
them all the best for the future.

Pat Lynch who videoed all games for posterity
was present for the great occasion. Briege Corkery
Minor Capt in 2004 and who did most of the organising
for the function, thanked all for coming and and
wished them the very best. Sile Burns the first
capt under 14 also added her thanks and good wishes.
There was also joy for Marie O’ Neill who celebrated
her 18th birthday on the night.

Fr. Liam Kelleher 087-8516984



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