|Resplendent in red the Cáilín Óir ferry sailed into North Harbour Saturday last, the 3rd of October with the real cáilín óir at the bow - Verona Ní Drisceoil (the conquering captain of the All Ireland winning Senior B Cork lady’s) with her army of rebelettes and their Aisling McGing cup. A blazing bonfire was lit at the powder point, an age old tradition, to welcome home the winners on board and with Margaret O' Donovan playing the pipes, the party was met by an entourage of well wishers standing on the pier, flying flags, hooters blaring and each more decked out than the next in red and white!
Young and old came to share in Verona and her team’s success. But this was not a success that was stemmed from one game alone. For Verona, the road to success started back in 2003 when she first joined Gabriel Rangers, with much encouragement from Clodagh O’ Driscoll. Considering herself a late starter at the ripe old age of 22, Verona took to her sport with great gusto, dedication and determination to be the best footballer she could, even putting in the extra hours, to develop her skills and strength. Her aim that first year was to make the Gabriels starting team (being a sub when they won the All Ireland Junior Final). 2004 & 2005 saw her play with the junior and senior teams respectively, but it wasn’t until she took a year out in Australia in 2006 where she played with Michael Cusacks, that she really felt her confidence grow.
Returning from Oz with fresh ambition and determination, it wasn't long before her hard work was rewarded when she was called for trials for the Cork Senior B Team in December '06 for the following year (2007). Her drive never wavered and for the next three years her skills went from strength under the mentorship of the coaching staff. The long road to success culminated in Dublin's defeat against the Rebels on the 22nd August, in Semple Stadium (Final score 3-11 0-6).
And so it was with great pride by all in Oiléan Chléire that Verona and her rebel army returned victoriously to a day and night of song and spraoi, celebrating the correct way – the Cape way!