The winner would be. While much was made into the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final of Kilkenny’s gut-wrenching litany of beats Galway have experienced their own close run events.
There was a very clear sense from the aftermath it believed that a number of the criticism they’d received over the years for not making it to the September bash since 2015 was harsh and motivated the Tribeswomen.
It was evident from speaking to dynamo Aoife Donohue, that the Galway players maintained that they had endured every bit as much shock because their Kilkenny counterparts and they had no intention of suffering .
“There’s huge belief in this team” said Donohue.
“Everyone trusts every other from the group. We’ve been there. We’ve lost as much as Kilkenny lost. There’s some of the women have dropped three or even four All-Irelands, we have been beaten in semi-finals.
“We have been on the opposite side of it too and I think that it’s about time we have a bit of credit now we’ve gotten on the internet. What a savage team”
Another motivation was stricken colleague Tara Kenny struggling to take her position after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in their last training game, 10 days prior to what could have been the biggest day of her sporting life’s sight.
“We played a board game last Thursday week. A chunk came in between her and Ailish (O’Reilly). Tara just slipped. Went for a scan the following day. Cruciate gone,” clarified Donohue.
“It had a huge influence on the team but we said we were going to head out and win for Tara and since Sarah (Dervan) stated up on the measures (in her victory speech), she was the 16th girl who drove us on the line. I can’t picture how it had been for her to see to the sideline.
“But that is the strength that is in the panel. Players arrive in and have an impact. Catherine Finnerty stood up, she’s loads of energy and legs and she remained going until the final whistle.”
Dervan was the captain however there were numerous Americans out of Galway victory in 2013 and that stood to them.
“There’s leaders all over the pitch,” continued Donohue. “Kilkenny went down and got a dent, Niamh Kilkenny comes straight the pitch up and also throws the ball across the bar. We had them throughout the area.
“We knew we had a good opportunity coming up. We beat Kilkenny in the League Final, there were just two points inside Athenry (at the very first round of the Championship once Kilkenny prevailed) and we felt we didn’t execute that day.
“(Manager) Cathal (Murray) said if we were at the match with 10 minutes we’d come from the perfect side and thankfully that’s happened.”
For her role, Donohue has been a revelation as a midfielder, with won an All-Star within an inside.
“I will play anywhere,” she said. “I don’t care as long as I’m on the group. If this was the right location for me were going to win and I did not mind at all. I’ve played for the club. But I’ve been out and in this past year. Even in the last few minutes I moved wing-forward and Ann Marie Starr came on.”
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