Why we must follow British public when selecting Sports Team of the Year Award…

Cork celebrate winning their ninth All-Ireland ladies football title in 10 years. Picture: Sportsfile

Cork celebrate winning their ninth All-Ireland ladies football title in 10 years. Picture: Sportsfile

THE easy option isn’t always the right one.
I say this regarding the upcoming RTÉ Sports Awards on Sunday.
For the past number of years the Cork ladies football team have been nominated for the Sports Team of the Year, but each time, despite adding All-Ireland after All-Ireland, they’ve been overlooked by the Irish public.
This year they won their ninth All-Ireland title in 10 years, an incredible feat, and did so in impressive style, coming back from a 10-point deficit with 16 minutes remaining against Dublin in Croke Park.
On Sunday they come up against the Airtricity League champions Dundalk, the Irish men’s rugby team, the All-Ireland hurling and football champions, Kilkenny and Kerry respectively, and the Cork camogie team, with coverage starting on RTÉ at 9.30pm.
The front-runners of course are the Irish men’s rugby team who won the RBS 6 Nations this year under Joe Schmidt, but are they the right option, or the easy one?

Ireland's Rob Kearney in action in the Six Nations. Picture: Sportsfile

Ireland’s Rob Kearney in action in the Six Nations. Picture: Sportsfile

I may be biased, but for good reason. Simply put, how many All-Irelands do Cork have to win to get the recognition they deserve?

Locally, on Leeside, yes they are lauded. Nationally however, their dominance was really only taken notice of because of THAT comeback. It was movie material; a great team on the verge of falling from great heights, yet showing the greatest resolve.
To come back as they did, had the nation talking; ‘what a team’.
So, I revert back to the easy option and the right option ahead of Sunday’s showdown on RTÉ.
Last weekend the England women’s rugby team won Team of the Year at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, with the 2014 World Cup winners beating Europe’s Ryder Cup golfers, the Great Britain & Northern Ireland athletics squad, and the Mercedes F1 team.
It was just the second time in 54 years that the team award went to a female outfit – the last time came in 1969 for the 4×400 United Kingdom athletics team.

Cork coach Eamonn Ryan is up for Manager of the Year. Picture: Sportsfile

Cork coach Eamonn Ryan is up for Manager of the Year. Picture: Sportsfile

The easy vote for the public would have been the Ryder Cup team, but the English rugby team was the right choice.
And this is my point to the people of Ireland who will be tuning into the RTÉ Sports Awards, the men’s Irish rugby team is the easy option, the most obvious one, but think for just one second about what it takes to win nine All-Ireland titles in 10 years, the sacrifices made over a decade, not just in one season.
And that’s why Cork deserve the public’s vote.

It’s your vote. Make it count.

Oh, and as a footnote, coach Eamonn Ryan is up for Manager of the Year and captain Briege Corkery as Sportsperson of the Year!

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