All-Fingal half forward line on Ladies Football All-Stars

by Cóilín Duffy
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FINGAL claimed three TG4 Ladies Football All-Stars, with Carla Rowe, Niamh McEvoy and Lyndsay Davey honoured on a night where All-Ireland Senior Champions Dublin picked up a record equalling seven gongs at the Citywest Hotel on Saturday night.

All three awards came on the half-forward line with Clann Mhuire’s Carla Rowe; Niamh McEvoy from St. Sylvester’s and Skerries Harps player Lyndsay Davey picking up awards.

28-year old McEvoy was honoured with an All-Star for the first time, but wasn’t present on the night due to her Aussie Rules commitments.

Davey picked up her fifth All-Star, following awards in ‘05, ‘14, ‘15 and ‘18.

Niamh Collins, Sinead Goldrick and Olwen Carey also claimed awards in defence, with midfielder Siobhan McGrath taking both an All-Star and the ‘Senior Players’ Player of the Year’.

13 Dublin players were shortlisted for awards , with St. Brigid’s goalkeeper Ciara Trant; Kilmacud Crokes trio Éabha Rutledge, Aoife Kane and Lauren Magee; along with Cuala’s Martha Byrne in contention.

Rowe delivered her third All-Star award, and was delighted to pick up an All-Star on the night.

“Absolutely it’s a fantastic night for all the ladies nominated,” she told Dublin Gazette at the awards ceremony.

“Everyone is a brilliant player. I suppose at the end of the day we would still swap any of our All-Stars for an All-Ireland, but we are delighted this year.

“We got seven All-Stars for the team and we also got the All-Ireland which is the end goal. It’s just an honour to be given this.”

After picking up All-Stars in both 2015 and 2016, it was Rowe’s first time to pick up both an All-Star and an All-Ireland title in the same year.

Once again she had tremendous support from her Clann Mhuire club colleagues on the night, with members travelling in large numbers to Citywest.

“The girls are here no matter when you win one or you don’t. They are out there and they support you every day – rain, hail, sun or shine. They make tonight special whether you win one or you don’t get one.

“It is just fantastic to have that support and I really appreciate it. I think they girls do know that so it’s brilliant.

“I’m just so lucky to be a part of the club, and I’m so lucky to have the friends and the family that you could call the whole village, around me and supporting me, and Una Whyte also who is coming up. It’s just an honour to be representing the club and everyone behind us.”

2020 is a big year for Women in Sport, and Rowe says it’s hard to believe that it’s almost around the corner – she’s been making the most of enjoying the ‘off-season’ though firstly!

“I was trying to get exercising again before the All-Star’s, but I couldn’t get myself to do it, so I said after this weekend I may get back on the horse and start doing a little bit of something anyway!,” she said.

“We’ll enjoy this weekend and then I might look at it after that!”

“I would have played with Dundalk IT a couple of years ago and that was brilliant keeping you involved during the Winter.

“Our club last year got a bit further than this year. This year we didn’t get as far as we had hoped, so we were out quite early.

“We’ve been finished now since the middle of October, so I’ve had a good break, which in some ways is good. You do need that break to rest and recover and be ready for the next year and the seasons don’t get easier.

“Every year you have to keep pushing the standards to keep trying to stay on top or even chase that position.”

One of the keys for Dublin will be a strong league start, but Rowe says there hasn’t been much talk of that for now.

“We haven’t talked about it yet. I know every year it is about putting out the strongest team that we can and go out with the aim of winning it. That is one of the things you have to aim for, but you just have to see how the year goes.”

“We would never say that we aren’t chasing a medal in the league. Dublin have only ever won one, and that was two or three years ago, so we would be definitely running after that. I think this year it did show that we needed that massive panel and that strong panel pushing us in finishing the games, and even in training – the competition was so fierce.

“At the end of the day that won us the All-Ireland – the 35 players we have!”

It was announced on the night that Texas hosts the All-Stars tour in March.

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