Kilmacud Crokes’ Emer Sweeney is hoping Lawless Park will prove to be a happy hunting ground as they look to end Foxrock Cabinteely’s remarkable five-year reign as Dublin senior champions.
Back in 2014, the Swords venue provided contrasting fortunes for the two clubs with Crokes landing the intermediate championship with victory over Parnells. FoxCab, meanwhile, endured a final defeat to Na Fianna, something they have not tasted since.
“Hopefully we can recreate that feeling!” Sweeney told the Dublin Gazette. “We do know that will be a tough match. FoxCab are an excellent team with a brilliant set of players.”
That inter success earned Kilmacud senior status and, with a wealth of young stars growing all the time, they have incrementally moved closer and closer to the big crown.
Lauren Magee, Eabha Rutledge, Molly Lamb, Mia Jennings and Aoife Kane are indicative of their production line and, a year ago, they came as close as anyone to ending Foxrock’s run, taking them all the way to extra time.
While some could get hung up on such a defeat, Sweeney is more laid back, saying: “It has been a task every year to build on that experience, working our way to the county final, building on our skill level all the time.
“Last year’s match didn’t work out in our favour but it was one that we enjoyed. But we have to just take it as a brand new match, play our game and see how it turns out!”
It comes following the strangest of summers. While lockdown has been rough, once the green-light was given for group training, numbers were huge – no more summer exodus for J1s or holidays, football was the perfect outlet.
Recent restrictions to pods of 15 have also been tricky to manage, waving at your team mates fr team mates from a suitable distance.
“It’s definitely a weird season – we didn’t know whether we would have any football at all at one stage. It was just great to be able to train as a group and then it went back a step. It’s great to be out there with the girls, feeling a sense of community. We definitely had a lot more numbers out this year, everyone enjoying training and being back out there in strange circumstances.”
For Foxrock, they survived a big semi-final scare against a Valerie Mulcahy-inspired Ballyboden St Enda’s, conceding two goals in the first five minutes.
But they kept calm with two goals from Irish hockey international Sinead Loughran and one each from Andrea Murphy and Aisling Murphy.
All-star defensive duo Sinead Goldrick and Niamh Collins were also impressive while Amy Connolly came off the bench to bring her tireless energy, earning a 4-13 to 3-10 success.
It sets up the all-southside decider which will take place on Saturday, 12 September at 6pm in Lawless Memorial Park, Swords. It will be streamed by Dublin LGFA.