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4 Of The Most Meteoric Rises From The World Of Irish Sport

4 Of The Most Meteoric Rises From The World Of Irish Sport
By Balls Team Updated

As much as Irish sport is ruled by its aristocrats, the history of recent Irish sport has been written by many upstarts. We take a look at four of the most enthralling Cinderella stories in Irish sport in this piece.


Founded in 1998, Castleknock's GAA club has come a long distance in a short while. Determined to be a service for good, inclusive action in a community that is rapidly expanding, their men's team were the losing finalists in this year's Dublin Senior Football Championship - a remarkable achievement in itself.  Castleknock have striven to become a focal point for the many strands of its disparate, ever-growing population. Success has greeted them at all levels so far, but, with this year's disappointment in the Senior final will surely come the reassurance that they are moving in the right direction.


Though many quickly tired Donegal's revolutionary defensive/counterattacking tactics, the rapidity with which they became the immovable object of Gaelic football was astonishing. With only one All-Ireland to the county's name - the 1992 Sam Maguire - Donegal rose like a phoenix to the top of the gaelic football world this decade. It took them a mere two years to go from Division 2 in the National League to the steps of the Hogan Stand in September 2012. Although the ramifications of his contained approach to Gaelic football were widespread and often discouraging, Donegal, whose 2012 Championship began on May 20th in a preliminary Ulster tie against Cavan, demonstrated a level of stamina  both physical and mental - that completely rejigged the approach elite counties would take from that point onward. All that in two years! Their win over Dublin in 2014 remains the only Championship defeat in the Gavin era and provides proof that Dublin are, perhaps, mortal.

Ireland Cricket Team

Whatever one thinks of Ireland's achievements during Italia '90, what the Irish cricketers did in the West Indies in 2007 superseded it. Their first experience of playing such a concentrated amount of games in a row against world-class opposition, an opening tie against Zimbabwe preceded a truly astonishing result against Pakistan. One of the world's leading cricketing nations, on St. Patrick's Day 2007, Ireland recorded an unimaginable result. Knocking Pakistan out of the tournament in the process, the shock and disappointment signified to a number of cricketing legends the 'lowest point in Pakistan cricket' However, keen to demonstrate their capabilities at this level, Ireland would go on to beat England in the 2011 World Cup and the West Indies in 2015. This year, Ireland finally became a fully-accredited cricketing test nation.


There are no all-consuming hierarchies within the League of Ireland. When Cork City secure the league title later this year, seven different teams will have won the last eleven titles; Dundalk have the largest share of these with three. In 2012, the club barely survived a relegation play-off. Four years later, three titles had been won in succession and, crucially, Dundalk had become Irish football's first team to record a win in the group stages of a European competition. A benchmark for what club football in Ireland can achieve, Dundalk captured the imagination of many who would normally afford the League of Ireland very little attention whatsoever.


Please drink Bulmers responsibly.



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