Therese Maher celebrates with Heather Cooney after winning her first All-Ireland title. INPHO/Dan Sheridan
worth the wait

Sixth time lucky as Therese Maher cherishes All-Ireland success

Asked if she will now retire from the game she has given so much to, she responded, “We’ll see.”

TRYING TO PUT her feelings into words after finally winning an All-Ireland senior medal after sixteen years of trying, Galway centre-back Therese Maher said she felt a lot of emotions as she finally realised her dream.

“I had a lot of emotions I think when the final whistle went. I was relieved, ecstatic, delighted and just thrilled to finally get over the line and get that elusive medal that I’ve been trying so hard to get.”

Did this make up for previous disappointments? She left us in no doubt. “Today makes up for all of those.”

Maher gave an insight into what made her return for more after each heart-break of near runs and crushing defeats. She said:

With any given year you have to believe when you go in that you are going to win and I don’t think there is any point in coming back up here if you don’t believe you are going to win, irrespective of the team you are playing and that is no disrespect to them. We were defeated earlier on in the championship by Kilkenny but it was the first game and after game after game after game you know you build momentum and we believed we were going to win out there today.”

imageThe enormity of the victory sinks in for Therese Maher. INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Maher added, “I know it wasn’t a classic but at the end of the day I didn’t mind if it was two points to one or five points to two, we just wanted to win, we needed to win, and for Galway camogie and we got a double here today.”

The overdue All-Ireland winner was delighted to see years of hard work in camogie in the western county pay off.

“The county has come up here year on year and we have got so far,” she said, “but have never got over the line. I think for followers of Galway camogie, for young people, there was busloads coming up here today and for them and for their parents, brothers, sisters, boyfriends, the people who have been supporting us day in day out, we needed a win. I’m just glad we got over the line here today.”

Maher pointed out that this side enjoyed a very strong bond and it was one of the main reasons for their historic success.

“The difference with this team? As Lorraine (Ryan, captain) said there, we are a great bunch of friends, both intermediate and senior teams. When we were training we were serious, we trained hard but outside of that we had fun as well.

We believed we were going to do it. Our focus was on each game, it wasn’t the bigger picture, an All-Ireland final, it was game-on-game and today for us was just another game, albeit it was a final. We were just taking it as another step on the ladder to get that medal we were looking for, for so long.”

The Athenry native, who won All-Ireland minor medals in 1996 and 1997 was coy on any talk of immediate retirement just yet however.

“Someone just asked me that in there [the dressing room] but I don’t think anyone makes decisions after matches when you win. I said never say never but you know, I don’t think I could finish on a better way to finish if I was to. We’ll see…”

Galway double their pleasure with All-Ireland Camogie glory

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Cormac O'Malley