This Sunday the legendary Cork ladies take on Dublin in the All-Ireland Final at Croke Park. Attendance records are expected to be broken following an exciting championship so far.
Last Saturday, Knockcroghery played host to successful ladies’ finals including a senior final of superb attacking football. Kilbride may have clinched their first Senior Championship but ladies’ club football was the big winner on the day.
Seamus Duke’s match report details the action elsewhere but I think it’s only right that we pay homage to the ladies’ game in general.
This Sunday promises to be a rip-roaring game of football with Cork chasing six-in-a-row and Dublin’s manager, Gregory McGonigle, promising his team will ‘rock Croke Park like Bruce Springsteen’. It’s even refreshing to hear a GAA manager speak like that these days!
Closer to home and during a recent trip to Roscommon Community College I bumped into Kilbride ladies’ star, Siobhán Tully, and I was taken aback by not only her modesty but the fact that she took part in a handball match against the reigning All-Ireland champions 24 hours after the ladies senior final!
Let’s be honest here, if that was a member of a men’s senior team we’d probably be hearing about it for years! Siobhán didn’t seem to mind and was back in the classroom on Monday morning.
Athletes like Siobhán are increasingly important in this age of Snapchat and Instagram. Body image, self-confidence and self-respect are huge issues and it’s important that young women have positive role models to look up to. When your teacher is winning ‘player of the match’ in a county final before taking on the best of the best in the handball alley the next day, you’re going to be inspired!
Hopefully there will be more inspiration this Sunday when the Rebelettes take on the Dubs. And hopefully we won’t see any more pointless intimidation tactics in the tunnel or during handshakes. Ladies’ football has been a breath of fresh air and long may it continue.