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‘Playing in Páirc Uí Chaoimh would be big step forward for Cork ladies'

January 27th, 2018 5:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Cork and UL ladies footballer Eimear Scally in attendance at the announcement that Gourmet Food Parlour will sponsor the Ladies Gaelic Football Association's Higher Education championships for a three-year period.

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EIMEAR Scally has urged the powers-that-be to fix a Cork ladies and men’s double-header at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

In the upcoming Lidl National League, eight ties will act as curtain-raisers before league matches involving men’s teams from the host counties, and Cork star Scally wants the Rebel County to follow the example set by others.

When Scally and Co take on reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin in round three of the league on February 10th, not only will it take place in Croke Park but it is also a double-header, followed by the men’s league clash between the Dubs and Donegal.

‘It’s clear that there have been huge strides made in ladies’ football – and this is another one,’ highly-rated Cork forward Scally said.

‘It’s great to be able to go out in Croke Park and play a match and it doesn’t have to be All-Ireland final day.’

The talented Éire Óg woman believes ladies’ GAA locally would receive a huge boost if the doors of Páirc Uí Chaoimh were opened to the ladies’ football and camogie teams.

‘Everyone knows that there has never been a competitive game for the Cork ladies in Páirc Uí Chaoimh – and that’s something we all want to change,’ Scally told The Southern Star ahead of Cork’s league opener against Kerry this Sunday.

‘I got to play an internal game there before. But that was it.

‘It would be huge to get to play there and you would feel a little bit more important and a bit more valued if we got to play in a venue like Páirc Uí Chaoimh, not slogging it out somewhere else.

‘To be able to go in and play a game, as part of a double-header with the lads, would be a massive step forward. 

‘I might be a bit biased but the ladies’ games are more entertaining to watch than the lads. I’m sure that if Cork supporters came out and watched us play before the lads, it might encourage them to come out and support us a bit more in the championship as well.

‘It shouldn’t take a lot to put a few heads together to get us in there for a double header with a men’s game.

‘They have the stadium, they have the dressing-rooms, it’s not like we are going to ruin the pitch beforehand, so hopefully it wouldn’t take much for that to happen.’

The coming weeks will be busy for UL student Scally who will juggle the O’Connor Cup (colleges’ football) and the national league. Scally scored 1-1 in last year’s final when UL beat UCC and the Limerick college takes on NUIG in the first round on February 7th, sandwiched in between league games, home to Monaghan and away to Dublin. Busy times, but just the way she likes it.

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