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'I feel like I'm dreaming. I thought it was gone' - the super-sub who clinched All-Ireland club glory

Úna Jackman was Gailltír hero in Croke Park after last year’s heartbreaking defeat.

TALK ABOUT A magical moment.

The absolute stuff of dreams.

una-jackman-celebrates-scoring-the-winning-goal Úna Jackman celebrates scoring the winning goal. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

In the 50th minute, Úna Jackman was summoned from the bench to enter the lions’ den that is an All-Ireland intermediate camogie club championship final.

Her Gailltír side were leading by a point at the time, as the bid to end last year’s heartbreaking decider defeat roared on. The opposition, St Rynagh’s, were in the middle of a remarkable second-half fightback, and Jackman was being sent in for Emer Walsh. 

Straight in at corner forward. A roll of the dice to see if she could add anything.

Three minutes later, Rynagh’s levelled matters. Then, they took the lead through placed-ball specialist Siobhán Flannery. Gailltír’s own close-range free-taker Annie Fitzgerald levelled it again, but again Flannery pushed Rynagh’s into the lead. 

0-13 to 0-12 as the clock turned 60.

It looked like this was going to be St Rynagh’s day, and that Gailltír were going to suffer another gut-wrenching one-point defeat after last year’s reversal.

The Waterford side dug deep. Four minutes of injury time announced. Heart in the mouth stuff, as scrambles unfolded all over the pitch. Into the 64th minute, Trish Jackman stood over a free inside her own half. She launched the sliotar goal-ward, Shauna Fitzgerald caught it, and all of a sudden, Trish’s younger sister Úna had it.

Boom.

Back of the net.

1-12 to 0-13, just like that.

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The super-sub had clinched an All-Ireland title for her club, right at the death.

“I feel like I’m dreaming,” she said afterwards, still in disbelief at what had happened.

I actually feel like I’m dreaming. I thought it was gone. I really thought… I just honestly can’t believe it. Shauna caught that ball, I don’t know how she did it. I turned and I could see another girl in front of the goalkeeper. And just hit it to the back of the net.

“For Shauna to get the ball to me was unbelievable but she’s unreal. It’s unbelievable.

“I didn’t have a second. It was just turn, I saw the goal. There were two girls standing in front of the goal but I just said, ‘We have to win this, there’s no way we’re losing this.’

“The feeling is unreal. I can’t even describe it. Trish scoring the point after then…”

Many probably missed it amid the madness, but Trish Jackman — the experienced Waterford star who commutes from the UK for her club (goalkeeper Ciara is another sister) — then kept her cool seconds later to seal the deal with a monster free and banish the ghosts of 2019.

anne-corcoran-and-una-jackman-celebrate-after-the-game Celebrating with Anne Corcoran and Una Jackman after the game. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

While it was Clonduff who broke Gailltír hearts last year, they acknowledged that they had done the exact same to St Rynagh’s this time around. Captain Áine Lyng mentioned it in her emotional speech, but noted that it was that heartbreak, hurt and agony that drove them on this year.

And match-winner Jackman also referred to it herself afterwards.

“We were so hurt,” the youngster said, “everyone in the club and we just needed to come back, we needed to get this. There was no way we were coming back without that cup.

“Every single one of the girls are worthy of a spot on the team, they’re training so hard, week-in, week-out, eight o’clock in the morning on Saturdays. All of us want to be on the field but once we’re winning, it doesn’t matter who’s on the pitch.”

- Additional reporting by Daragh Ó Conchúir, Camogie Association

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