"What was the point of giving anything away? We knew we were going to play them again"
By Daragh Ó Conchúir
Three new All-Ireland winners, record numbers in attendance and interviews like none other in the GAA. Camogie relished its day in the sun.
Ailish O'Reilly led Galway to the senior title on Sunday in Croke Park and her post-match words were as passionate as her two-goal display.
The Tribeswomen had lost earlier in the year to their final opponents Kilkenny but they used all the talk that has been writing them off since as fuel. And, according to O'Reilly, they used that first outing as a dummy run, not intent to give much away.
"We beat them in the League Final and all the talk was they beat us in the first round of the Championship," she said.
"What was the point of giving anything away then [in that game]? We were definitely going to have to play them again and we were definitely going to have to play Cork."
Cathal Murray had the team set up to perfection for the decider. The players bought into it, like the have done all year, and they hit the Cats for three goals.
"The strategy was to play it down on the middle, thankfully we got on the breaking ball and it paid off.
"There was a lot of talk about the Kilkenny forwards and I think every time we ran at them we looked dangerous” said O’Reilly.
"The pressure was on them and we went out and put everything out there for 60 minutes and I’ll appreciate this one for sure.
"Whatever Cathal has done this year with our team, there’s a mentality and a belief there that whatever is thrown at us, we were going to come fighting back even two times harder."
As much work as the manager did and as much as he got the match-ups right, the players still had to deliver.
"Teeny (Cormican) went back and you would barely even know that Anne Dalton was in the game. Teeny did well, we’d Shauna (Healy), we’d Heather (Cooney) and I don’t think our backs have gotten enough credit all year. Again, a lot of talk was about Kilkenny and that suited us down to the ground. We showed what we’re capable of. We beat Cork and we beat Kilkenny so I think we deserve this one.
"We were written off against Waterford. We didn’t play for the first 20 minutes but we weren’t allowed play and I don’t think Waterford have been given enough credit.
“We beat Cork by a point and again all the talk was about Kilkenny and that suited us down to the ground. And I think we’ve proved a lot of people wrong today.
"We said ‘workrate, workrate, workrate’ no matter who we were playing and I believe 100 per cent that got us over the line.
“2013 feels like a lifetime ago. I was vomiting all that morning and I flew off on Erasmus a few days later so I didn’t appreciate it enough. By God am I going to enjoy this one."