St Mullin's thank Cuala for their help as selector taken ill during game 'doing well' 2 weeks ago

St Mullin's thank Cuala for their help as selector taken ill during game 'doing well'

More than a club. More than a game.

For St Mullin's of Carlow, Sunday afternoon brought with it a whirlwind of emotions. First, it was anticipation and excitement. Those turned to hope and edginess. Edginess turned to elation until they were suddenly brought crashing down to a horrible place right at the final whistle.

Right now, relief is the prevailing feeling not just in Carlow but in GAA circles all over after the update that Michael Ryan, the St Mullin's selector who had taken ill at the final whistle, is recovering in hospital.

That was in no small thanks to a certain courageous Cuala supporter.

The game was pelting away in injury time when an apparent heart attack struck down the St Mullin's man on the sideline.

The players - St Mullin's or Cuala - would have noticed the consternation alongside them, but they couldn't have had a clue what had actually happened.

They were focused on one of the biggest games of their lives.

Michael's son Oisin had just been brought on as a second half substitute, but was immediately brought off on 62 minutes when the alarm was raised.

Concern filled the grounds. Paramedics remained on the field for up to an hour after the final whistle.

Dr. Niamh Murphy, a Cuala supporter played a huge part in saving this man's life and she was thanked by the Carlow club on Twitter on Saturday night.

"Delighted to hear that the man from St Mullin's taken ill at today’s game is recovering in hospital. Thanks from Carlow to those who helped in very difficult circumstances," wrote Cuala on Twitter.

Before the Carlow club sincerely thanked Cuala for all their help, and singled out Murphy.

"All in St Mullins GAA Club we would like to sincerely thank you for all your efforts today. It's is genuinely appreciated. Special thanks to your wonderful Cuala supporter Dr. Niamh Murphy. Micheal is doing well due in no small part to your assistance. Míle Buíochas."

The Carlow side showed pure grit on Saturday afternoon, beating one of the favourites not just for the Leinster club but for the All-Ireland club championship too. Marty Kavanagh, James Doyle and many more of their players proved themselves on the biggest stage once more, but it's on days like these we're reminded that there are so much more important things beyond hurling and beyond sport.

Thank God that on this occasion, the update is a very positive one.