Dublin star Lyndsey Davey is relishing the prospect of locking horns with Tesco Homegrown Ladies National Football League Division 1 champions Cork in Saturday’s Parnell Park final.
And Davey has revealed the “hunger” within the Dublin camp to finally get one over on the Rebelettes in a big game.
Cork beat Dublin narrowly in the 2011 and 2013 TG4 All-Ireland senior quarter-final and last year, the champions came from nine points down to beat the Sky Blues by four.
And Davey recalls: “When we played them last year, it was like a replay of 2011, and the exact same thing happened.
“We got ourselves in a really good position but Cork’s experience shone through.
“They pipped us at the end. There’s a lot of hunger there to get over Cork.
“We have new management on board, new players, and a great atmosphere at training. It’s all really positive and the work rate of the girls is phenomenal.”
"It’s all really positive and the work rate of the girls is phenomenal"
Remarkably, this is the very first time that Skerries Harps star Davey will play in a Division 1 final, despite the fact that she has sampled All-Ireland deciders in 2004, 2009 and 2010.
The 24-year-old forward reflected: “When Greg (McGonigle) came in to manage us, one of the first talks he had was that he couldn’t believe that Dublin have never even contested, let alone win, a League final.
“So that was definitely one of the goals at the beginning of this year. “Thankfully it’s worked out well for us. We have go out and do the business.”
During the group stages of the competition, Dublin drew with both of last year’s All-Ireland finalists Monaghan and Cork.
But an impressive semi-final performance accounted for Monaghan and Davey is targeting victory over the all-conquering Leesiders at the weekend.
However, Davey and Dublin are conscious of Cork’s never-say-die attitude – with last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final defeat still fresh in the minds.
She said: “Cork have such a great team and are so experienced in those kinds of situations.
“We knew they were never going to lie down but I don’t think anyone could have predicted that kind of turnaround.
“They just worked so well at pinning us in. I remember standing in the forwards and nothing was coming towards us.
“One of the main things we want this year is to have learned from last year.
“Even against Monaghan, in the second half when Monaghan came at us, we remained calm.
“I know we missed a couple of opportunities in the second half but we held on and kept battling, which was a nice positive.
“With each game we’re looking to learn a bit more and keep improving. “Against Cork, we’re delighted to get another competitive game before championship and there’s no better team to be playing than them.”
Davey’s scoring power is central to Dublin’s hopes of success. She has been scintillating form this season, with a four-goal haul against Tyrone a notable highlight.
But Davey will not rest on her laurels and her quest for self-improvement is constant.
She explained: “Doing ok. I don’t know if I’ll ever be totally happy when I walk off the pitch. There’s always something I’m not going to be happy with in a game.
“We played Tyrone and I got four goals but still I put a few wide. I was annoyed that I didn’t compose myself enough with those shots. You’re only as good as your last game so you need to keep improving as much as you can with each game.”