The winner is the loser that evaluates defeat the very best. While much was created to the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final of Kilkenny’s gut-wrenching litany of defeats in deciders, Galway have had their run occasions.
There was a sense in the wake it felt that a number of the criticism they’d obtained because of not making it to the September party was brutal and inspired the Tribeswomen .
It was also evident from speaking to midfield dynamo Aoife Donohue, that the Galway players claimed that they had endured every bit as much shock because their Kilkenny counterparts and they had no intention of enduring.
“There’s huge belief in this group” said Donohue.
“Everyone trusts every other from the group. We’ve been there. We have dropped as much as Kilkenny lost. There is some of the women have dropped three or even four All-Irelands, we’ve been defeated in semi-finals.
“We’ve been on the other side of it too and I believe it’s about time we got a little credit today we have gotten on the internet. What a savage team”
Another motivation that is clear was stricken colleague Tara Kenny unable to take her place after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in their training match, 10 days prior to what would have become the greatest day of her sporting life’s sight.
“We played with a board match Thursday week. A chunk came in between her and Ailish (O’Reilly). Tara simply slipped. Went for a scan the next day. Cruciate gone,” explained Donohue.
“It obviously had a massive effect on the team but we mentioned we were going to go out and win for Tara and since Sarah (Dervan) stated on the steps (in her victory speech), she had been the 16th woman who drove us over the line. I can’t imagine how it was for her to watch to the sideline.
“But that is the strength that’s in the panel. Players arrive in and have an impact. Catherine Finnerty awakened, she has tons of legs and energy and she stayed going until the final whistle.”
Dervan was the captain but there were a number of survivors from Galway triumph in 2013 and that stood .
“There is leaders all over the pitch,” lasted Donohue. “Kilkenny went and got a dent, Niamh Kilkenny comes back the pitch up and then throws the ball over the bar. We had them all over the area.
“We knew we’d a fantastic opportunity coming up. We beat Kilkenny in the League Final, there were just two things in it Athenry (in the first round of the Championship if Kilkenny prevailed) and we felt we didn’t carry out that afternoon.
“(Manager) Cathal (Murray) stated if we were at the match with 10 minutes to go we’d come out the perfect side and thankfully that’s happened.”
Donohue has been a revelation for a midfielder, having won an All-Star as an inside .
“I will play anywhere,” she explained. “I don’t care as long as I’m on the group. If this was the place for me went to win and that I did not mind in any respect. I’ve played there for your club. However, I’ve already been out and in last year. Even in the last few minutes I went wing-forward and Ann Marie Starr came on.”
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