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Comment: Ladies' game rises as Mackin hits goal of year contender

By Declan Bogue

During the ongoing coverage of the Women's Rugby World Cup on RTÉ, a clear picture has emerged. The studio analysts - Rosie Foley, Lynne Cantwell and Fiona Steed - are saying it how it is.

Ireland may have beaten Australia, but there was a complete lack of self-defeating 'sisters are doin' it for themselves' nonsense commentary.

They were having a serious conversation about their sport, giving it respect. There was no self-congratulation that the sport was getting a slice of the prime-time action and there was absolutely no evidence whatsoever of the wider issues around female sport in general, least of all those pointless comparisons with male counterparts.

This may be part of a wider trend. Over the summer, camogie and ladies' football analysts have become a regular feature on The Sunday Game couch. Some have even been brought in to comment about the men's games.

The anecdotes are heartening. Last year, Tyrone's women footballers travelled down by bus to train in Garvaghey but received no post-training meal. This year, that has been sorted.

And the closing stages of the All-Ireland Ladies' Football Championships are being hosted in the glamorous venues.

Prior to this, games were played in wide open spaces of remote grounds. While TG4 have always done an incredible job of televising these games, it was hard to conjure up a sense of atmosphere at the venues.

Last weekend, they were able to hook up all the best vantage points of Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. They were there to capture Armagh's game against Kerry but in particular a quite sensational goal by Aimee Mackin.

She took delivery of a long foot-pass on the edge of the square, and pinged it to the far top corner of the net. It stands as the best goal during any game of Gaelic football this year, enhanced by the surroundings. Check it out for yourself with a quick Twitter search.

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