SOUTH Dublin clubs provided a strong back-bone to both of Dublin’s All-Ireland successes on a memorable weekend at Croke Park, with the men taking a historic five-in-a-row on Saturday, before the women’s team claimed a three-in-a-row on Sunday.
Cuala, Kilmacud Crokes, Naomh Olaf, Ballinteer St. John’s and Foxrock-Cabinteely all had players adding to their All-Ireland medal haul.
Eoin Murchan’s goal early in the second half provided the springboard in Dublin’s 1-18 to 0-15 replay win over Kerry on Saturday.
The following afternoon, in front of a record breaking attendance, Foxrock-Cabinteely duo Sinead Goldrick and Hannah O’Neill grabbed Dublin’s goals in their 2-3 to 0-4 final win over Galway.
Cuala’s Michael Fitzsimons picked up his seventh All-Ireland medal on Saturday, and said there was a big release of tension after the final whistle.
“It was a huge relief until the final whistle. You would have been worried about it, especially with the drawn game,” he said.
“You would be worried at times during games that it mightn’t go your way so it was just huge relief. It’s hard to describe, but it’s the reason that you play.”
Paul Mannion felt Dublin were “blessed” to get another crack at the All-Ireland, after the drawn encounter.
“We just felt blessed to have this chance now. After the last day, I almost thought we were down and out and the lads just kept fighting away.
“I’m just so fortunate to have the chance to do it today and to do it right.”
His Kilmacud Crokes colleague Lauren Magee was one of four players from the club to pick up All-Ireland medals on Sunday.
“I don’t think words can describe this feeling,” she said.
“I thought this match would never end, it was just one of those days with wet conditions, we didn’t know what way it was going to go.”
Goldrick spoke about her goal – which was the opening score after 22 minutes.
“Hannah O’Neill was there from my club and handed it on. I think I just hoped for the best and I was happy it went in!,” she said.
Their side prevailed 2-3 to 0-4 in drenched conditions over Galway and manager Bohan hailed the likes of Goldrick who has been part of the setup for the guts of a decade.
“That was an absolute war out there today. And all the scraps, but if you look at the key scraps in that game they were won by the older players,” said manager Bohan.
“When you talk about developing people for the world, for so many different skillsets. I look around our camp at the moment and see those leaders.”