As the end of the year approaches, the sporting action shows no signs of slowing down, with November proving to be a record-making month for sportswomen across the globe.
All Ireland Champions’ Cork and finalists Galway dominated, with seven players apiece selected for All Star status.
Our November highlight – and one of the highlights of our whole year – was the Camogie All Stars Awards, which took place at the Citywest Hotel.
It was a great event, with entertainment by Mundy and guest speaker Brent Pope giving an inspirational talk about achieving sporting success. As for the winners, All Ireland Champions’ Cork and finalists Galway dominated, with seven players apiece selected for All Star status. Here’s the full line up:
Aoife Murray (Cork); Pamela Mackey (Cork), Sarah Dervan (Galway), Heather Cooney (Galway); Rena Buckley (Cork), Gemma O’Connor (Cork), Lorraine Ryan (Galway); Niamh Kilkenny (Galway), Ashling Thompson (Cork); Orla Cotter (Cork), Niamh McGrath (Galway), Kate Kelly (Wexford); Briege Corkery (Cork), Molly Dunne (Galway), Ailish O’Reilly (Galway).
Each winner received a specially commissioned piece of work by sculptor Jarlath Daly, a commemorative jersey and a €500 discount on a Liberty Insurance policy. The evening wrapped up with a raucous sing-song and Mundy raised the roof with ‘Galway Girl’ which had everyone dancing. It was a great end to a great championship. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners, we’re looking forward to next season already!
Briege Corkery...has been named Player of the Year. She is the only player to have won it twice, previously receiving the accolade in 2012
Next to ladies’ football and Cork midfielder Briege Corkery, who has been named Player of the Year. She is the only player to have won it twice, previously receiving the accolade in 2012. And no, you are not seeing things. Her name is on the Camogie All Stars list too. What a year Corkery has had! Here is the complete Ladies’ Football All Star line up:
Linda Martin (Monaghan); Marie Ambrose (Cork); Aislinn Desmond (Kerry); Geraldine O’Flynn (Cork); Vera Foley (Cork); Sinead Finnegan (Dublin); Sinead Goldrick (Dublin); Rena Buckley (Cork); Briege Corkery (Cork); Cora Courtney (Monaghan); Cora Staunton (Mayo); Carla Rowe (Dublin); Valerie Mulcahy (Cork); Lyndsey Davey (Dublin); Aimee Mackin (Armagh).
On to the other kind of football now. Last month we told you about the Republic of Ireland Women's Senior Team and their great start to their Euro 2017 campaign, having produced a solid 2-1 win against Portugal. Spain unfortunately proved harder to beat when they came to Tallaght on 26th November. The visitors scored twice in the first half and despite a couple of good chances, Ireland were no match for them. Spain scored again in the second half, for a final score of 0-3. It was a serious blow to our qualification hopes, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Goalkeeper Emma Byrne made her 100th appearance for Ireland and was presented with a special UEFA cap and medal before the game. Congratulations Emma!
Goalkeeper Emma Byrne made her 100th appearance for Ireland and was presented with a special UEFA cap and medal before the game.
Now to racing and the Melbourne Cup. In Australia it’s called the race that stops a nation and this year it was especially true. At 100-1, Prince of Penzance was a rank outsider but an incredible ride by Michelle Payne meant she became the first female jockey to ride the winner in the 155-year old race. Speaking after the historic victory, Payne didn’t hold back: “It’s such a chauvinistic sport, a lot of the owners wanted to kick me off. Everyone else can get stuffed [who] think women aren’t good enough”.
Payne comes from rich racing stock, with seven of her ten siblings also trained jockeys. “My older sisters were trailblazers. And when I started training it made it so much easier for me to get rides, because they had paved the way.” A great example of what can be achieved when a family #supporthersport.
Finally, we’ll end on a light-hearted prank which serves to highlight the fact that woman can perform at the same level as men. The video below, from Spain, features a non-league match in Madrid where one player completely outperforms the field. But - spoiler alert –at the end of the match, the player is revealed to be a woman. Ahead of the game, professional footballer Brenda Perez, 21 – who has played for Atletico Madrid, RCD Espanyol and Valencia – undertook a seven hour-long makeover to transform her into a man. It was all part of a TV show experiment designed to destroy some of the myths surrounding women’s football.
After the game, Brenda said “It was an unforgettable experience. A couple of players were looking at me a bit strangely and I overheard one making the comment: ‘His beard’s coming off, what’s wrong with him’ but apart from that it went well”.
And on that note, we will see you next month with the final round up of 2015.