SANDIE Fitzgibbon garnered a huge vote to knock out one of the favourites Roy Keane and reach the final of The Echo Rebel Legends competition.
The former Glen Rovers and Cork camogie ace, who shone as a basketballer and soccer player too, clearly has the backing for her former team-mates and the Cork sporting public as she polled well ahead of Keane.
She'll face Rena Buckley on the last day of the tournament.
After a tight race with another dual icon in Briege Corkery, Inniscarra camogie and Donoughmore ladies football star Buckley crossed the line first . Rena had gotten the better of JBM in the previous round.
The tournament started with 32 stunning sports people and we still need your help to pick your favourite Cork sports person since 1970, which will be decided in the final on March 11. Every time you vote you are entered into a draw for a €200 shopping voucher.
Rob Heffernan, Juliet Murphy, Roy Keane, Rena Buckley, Jimmy Barry-Murphy, Briege Corkery, Sandie Fitzgibbon and Sonia O’Sullivan were left standing in the quarter-finals.
It’s a bit of fun for sports fans, and we have a huge population of those, and a chance for you to express your admiration for the unbelievable array of stars we have across all sports.
Showing the strength of female sport on Leeside, there are two women left standing, while Claire Coughlan and Linda Mellerick lost to Roy Keane and Rob Heffernan respectively by very narrow margins.
Some big names who would have been worthy winners have fallen to date, including Denis Irwin and Ronan O’Gara.
This is Cork we’re talking about, not just your run-of-the-mill county, so even shortening it to 32 candidates was a challenge for The Echo crew.
Sonia, Roy, Jimmy, O’Gara, Irwin, Briege, Rena, Rob, Seán Óg, Stringer... those sporting stars identifiable by just one part of their name are obvious options.
Our team of contributors used a few criteria to nominate some more contenders.
The likes of Larry Tompkins and John Caulfield didn’t spend their formative years in Cork so they weren’t considered for this exercise. However, Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, who moved to Cork at the age of 10, was, along with Ronan O’Gara, who was born in the US.
We looked at former players or athletes, in terms of being retired from the elite level of their chosen sport, which meant Rena Buckley and Briege Corkery were in, but Simon Zebo, Denise O’Sullivan, Patrick Horgan, Davy Russell and Peter O’Mahony weren’t.
There were a host of brilliant sports people who just missed out, this time around, including Mark Carroll, Pat Morley, Tom O’Sullivan, Ray Cummins, Colin Healy, Valerie Mulcahy and many more. They may all get their chance in future battles. Our 32 contenders, nominated by our panel of writers, were placed in alphabetical order, with number one paired with 32, number two with 31, and so on.
1. Dave Barry v 32. Peter Stringer.
2. Orla Barry v 31. Sonia O’Sullivan.
3. Jimmy Barry-Murphy v 30. Marcus O’Sullivan.
4. Alan Bennett v 29. Derval O’Rourke.
5. Rena Buckley v 28. Jonjo O’Neill.
6. Billy Coleman v 27. Ronan O’Gara.
7. Brian Corcoran v 26. Mary O’Connor.
8. Briege Corkery v 25. Seán Óg Ó hAilpín.
9. Claire Coughlan v 24. Ray Murphy.
10. Damien Delaney v 23. Juliet Murphy.
11. Sandy Fitzgibbon v 22. Billy Morgan.
12. Caroline Forde v 21. Linda Mellerick.
13. Rob Heffernan v 20. Teddy McCarthy.
14. Denis Irwin v 19. Olive Loughnane.
15. Kieran Joyce v 18. Donal Lenihan.
16. Roy Keane v 17. Rachel Kohler.