Media Coverage for Women's Sport
IT’S DIFFICULT TO grasp just how dominant Dublin used to be in the camogie world.
They top the roll of honour for the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior championship with 26 successes.
From 1948 to 1966, they enjoyed not so much a purple patch as a blue blitz, with 18 titles from 1948 to 1966. A blip in 1956 prevented an incredible 19-in-a-row. Defeat to Antrim after a replay in the 1967 final put the kibosh on 10-in-a-row.
The county has only won once since, in 1984. They had a good team in that era too but Cork and Kilkenny ruled the roost and that was their only return from five consecutive final appearances. They haven’t appeared in a decider since 1986.
After such a prolonged spell in the doldrums, something is stirring in the capital once again. Consecutive junior titles in 2005 and 2006 weren’t the immediate springboard for success but in Louise O’Hara’s words, it made them feel like “a proper team”.
They kept putting in the hard yards.
“Sometimes when you’re losing it’s easier to go out and train harder” says O’Hara. “We were constantly trying different things.”
Meanwhile, the grassroots endeavour started paying dividends. Last year, Dublin won their first ever U16A title. The second adult team annexed the Division 4 title, and narrowly lost this year’s Division 3 final.
“The work is being put in every year” explains O’Hara. “Nobody goes out to lose. It’s just sometimes you don’t have the support and we were hanging on, waiting for these younger people coming through.
“We had fantastic minor teams in the last couple of years and now they’re starting to show at senior. As opposed to getting one or two coming through we’re now getting five or six.”
O’Hara has long been one of the country’s pre-eminent players, winning an All-Star back in 2006. The Erin’s Isle star remains a key contributor and is as enthusiastic now as she was a decade ago.
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