IT was the vision that impressed. Niamh McEvoy always seemed able to dodge traffic.
he played in the style of Tony Hanahoe. A Ciaran Kilkenny. Intelligence that parcels out each passage.
She did her best work in the role of centre-forward. Back to the goal. eyes in the back of your mind.
Come to meet the game. Offer an option and then do the simple. A short, clever pass. Open the narrowest can with a flick of the wrist.
The ball just stuck to the gloves. And she treated it like a precious piece of china. She wasted no possessions.
She made it look easy. Bringing teammates into play was one of her best qualities. Doors keep opening for them. Slide through and tick a point or score a goal.
She was like a chess master. Calm and collected. Always a few moves ahead. Passing before she even got the ball.
reading the piece. Keep an eye on the big picture. It’s no wonder she’s become a staunch expert at Virgin Media. On her Aussie Rules Show, a game she honored herself.
There she announced that she had folded her Dublin shirt for the last time. It’s been quite a journey.
Playing with the Dublin U-14s, U-16s and Minors. Graduation on the senior side.
He came off the bench when Dublin won its first All-Ireland in 2010. Guided home by Gerry McGill.
She also knows the tough days in the Dublin jersey. But she helped turn them to gold, and her wisdom proved invaluable as Mick Bohan’s team became the best in the country.
And then there was Syls. Where everything began. And where last season ended with an All Ireland medal.
McEvoy is well respected in the village. A role model for generations.
And as they would say at Malahide Cricket Club, she had an inning to be proud of.
Now she is passing on all her knowledge. Coaching the children in the skills and in what the sport can bring.
As she says: “It’s about more than the medals. I have found friends for life. And memories I will cherish forever.”
Dublin could not have asked for more. Or better asked. She gave everything. And given it so generously.
One game at a time. One pass after the other. Niamh McEvoy’s football philosophy. Enjoyed and accepted by all.
The Féile fireworks show will light up the city
IT’S the John West Féile weekend. The most magical ever. Niamh Collins is a Féile ambassador.
A two day party. A festival that will brighten up every floor in the county.
Collins digs deep into her own bag of highlights. And picks the 2018 All-Ireland Final.
Dublin arrived at Croke Park after losing three consecutive finals to Cork, champions of the grand save. A team that has made a habit of returning with the Brendan Martin Cup.
Leading up to the game, the message from Dublin was that it was another game. Against a team that happens to be wearing red jerseys.
But in the back of everyone’s mind, it was clear that they were the powerful women of the Lee.
“They were the best team I’ve ever played against,” muses Collins. “And for us, it wasn’t just the physical challenge of playing the game. It was also very much a mental thing.
“We had suffered so many losses for them. And they are one of the greatest teams that have ever played this game. Trying to figure out a way to beat them was probably the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced as a team.
“Nevertheless, we played really well. It was a very good team performance. You appreciate all the All-Irelands you win, but this one was special. It was an emotional moment for all of us. I have such fond memories of it.”
Fun is the name of the game
SOMETIMES the game itself is the least important thing. It’s everything that’s going on around it.
The packaging. The preparation. The workout. The Fundraising. The anticipation. That sense of community.
When the results are long forgotten, it’s the little things that stay. The journey to the game. The tea and sandwiches from the trunk of the car. Your name in the game program.
The return of the John West Féile has cheered up every community in the country. No event connects a club anymore. Cut the grass. The fresh coat of paint. To make visitors feel at home.
Niamh Collins can see the joy on the children’s faces. The encouragement of the mentors. A nice word from the opponent, praising a pass, a point, a goal. I wish the team that they can produce an achievement that they can be proud of. Leave everything out there.
Collins remembers the 2019 All-Ireland Final. Dublin vs Galway. In the rain. Dublin won. But there was nobody cartwheeling on Jones’s Road.
“The weather was terrible. And it wasn’t a very good match,” reflects Collins. “And although we won, we felt discouraged by the quality of the game. And I think Galway felt the same.
“On the biggest day of the year at the country’s largest stadium, the game didn’t do the sport justice.”
Collins hopes the sun will shine this weekend. And that every child goes home jumping. With dreams of playing for the dubs.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/dublin-gaa/farewell-to-niamh-mcevoy-the-malahide-maestro-who-added-art-and-craft-to-the-dubs-41563907.html Farewell to Niamh McEvoy, the Malahide’s maestro, who brought art and craft to the dubs