By Jackie Cahill
Foxrock-Cabinteely manager Pat Ring has paid tribute to his daughter Amy’s resilience – as the Dublin and Leinster champions gear up for Sunday’s All-Ireland Ladies Senior Club Football semi-final showdown with crack Monaghan outfit Donaghmoyne (Bray Emmets, 1pm).
This fixture is a repeat of the 2016 Final showdown between the sides – which Donaghmoyne won at Parnell Park, while the Ulster standard-bearers also won a 2015 semi-final clash.
It could be a case of third time lucky against Donaghmoyne for Fox-Cab as they chase a place in another All-Ireland Final, and their form to date has certainly been impressive.
Sinéad Goldrick, Niamh Collins, Amy Connolly, Hannah O’Neill, Emma McDonagh and Tarah O’Sullivan are all TG4 All-Ireland Senior championship winners with Dublin – and they’ve been performing extremely well at club level since returning to the fold.
But another former Dublin star – Amy Ring – has caught the eye with a series of superb displays.
From the outside looking in, one might wonder why she’s not involved with the Dublin set-up but a spate of injuries, particularly on-going knee issues, saw Ring call time on her inter-county career in 2016.
Dad Pat, who shares team management duties with Peter Clarke, explains: "She (Amy) had to make a very conscious decision two years ago.
“She had tendonitis in both knees, and had one operated on.
“Rather than have an operation on the second one, she’s been managing it.
“After a game or after training, she has to rest and recover for three days.
“It wouldn’t be conducive to inter-county but club-wise, we’ve benefited from that.”
Ring’s roll of honour with the Sky Blues saw her claim All-Ireland U14, U16, minor and Aisling McGing medals, and she was a key member of Dublin senior panels for over a decade.
Now 28 years of age, Ring is playing some of the best football of her life – and the stats are reflecting that.
Last time out, against Sarsfields of Laois in the Leinster Final, Ring grabbed 2-4, having collected 1-3 in the semi-final victory over Meath’s Simonstown Gaels.
Previous to that, she scored 0-2 against Shelmaliers (Wexford) in the quarter-final, and 0-4 in both the county semi-final and final.
Pat adds: “It was purely a decision (to step away from inter-county) based on her health and well-being. She couldn’t do both – it would have shortened her career.
“We’re very close. Her brother and I, and Amy, are all very close and would have discussed it a couple of years back.”
Ring describes the recent run of games for Fox-Cab as “intense” – but he’s confident that the team is in a good place as they prepare to tackle the five-time All-Ireland Senior champions.
He says: “Everyone’s in good form – it’s all come fairly intense, the Dublin semi-final and final weren’t until the end of September and since then it’s been hot and heavy.
“We had three games in Leinster and three League matches in between and yet we’ve managed to stay injury-free.
“The other thing we have done, probably different from other years, is that we’ve taken into account the very long seasons that a number of players had with their counties.
“Rest and recovery have been a big part of if this year. The Dubs went to the very last day and we have six of those.
“We had only five or six days preparation for the Dublin semi-final and it came hot and heave but it suited. We haven’t had many training sessions – it’s about getting the bodies and minds healed.”
Assessing the formidable Donaghmoyne challenge, Ring says: “We’re under no illusions – they’re five-time All-Ireland champions and have won 11 Ulsters in the last 15 years.
“We’ve been knocking around a fair bit but if you look back on our defeats, we knew we left them behind.
“We had jobs to do and didn’t finish the job. We’re a few years older and with more experience – and we would hope that might stand to us on the day.”
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