The winner would be the loser that evaluates defeat the ideal. While much was created into the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final of the gut-wrenching litany of defeats of Kilkenny at the build-up from deciders, Galway have experienced their close run occasions.
There was a sense from the aftermath it believed that some of the criticism they had obtained over the years because of not making it to the September bash since 2015 was harsh and certainly motivated the Tribeswomen.
It was also evident from talking to midfield dynamo Aoife Donohue, that the Galway players maintained that they had suffered every bit as much heartache and they had no intention of suffering.
“There’s enormous belief in this group” said Donohue.
“Everyone trusts each other in the group. We have been there. We’ve dropped as much as Kilkenny lost. There is a few of the girls have lost four or even three All-Irelands, we have been defeated in semi-finals.
“We’ve been on the other side of it too and I believe it’s about time we have a bit of credit now we have gotten online. What a barbarous team.”
Another motivation was the sight of colleague Tara Kenny struggling to take her place after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in their training game, 10 days prior to what could have become her athletic life’s day.
“We played a panel match Thursday week. A ball came between her and Ailish (O’Reilly). Tara simply slipped. Went for a scan the following day. Cruciate gone,” explained Donohue.
“It clearly had a enormous effect on the band but we said we were going to go out and win for Tara and as Sarah (Dervan) stated up on the steps (in her victory speech), she had been the 16th woman who drove us over the line. I can not picture how it had been for her to see on the sideline.
“But that’s the strength that’s in the panel. Players come in and have a direct effect. Catherine Finnerty stood up, she’s lots of energy and legs and she stayed going until the final whistle.”
There were a number of survivors from Galway triumph in 2013 although dervan was the captain and that stood .
“There is leaders all over the pitch, and” lasted Donohue. “Kilkenny went and got a dent, Niamh Kilkenny comes back the pitch up and throws the ball over the bar. We had them all.
“We knew we had a fantastic opportunity coming up. We beat Kilkenny in the League Final, there were two things in it Athenry (at the very first round of the Championship when Kilkenny prevailed) and we all believed we didn’t execute that afternoon.
“(Manager) Cathal (Murray) said if we were at the match with 10 minutes we’d come from the perfect side and happily that’s happened.”
For her role, Donohue was a revelation for a midfielder, with won an All-Star as an inside.
“I will play anywhere,” she explained. “I don’t care as long as I am on the team. If this was the perfect spot for me were going to win and that I didn’t mind at all. I have played for the club. However, I’ve been out and in year. Even in the last couple of moments I moved wing-forward along with Ann Marie Starr came on.”
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