Match Reaction by Peter Sweeney

This article kindly provided by
The Irish Daily Star


ON A day when defences dominated one attacker stood head and
shoulders above the rest. Diane O’Hora’s 1-2 from play would
be a good tally in any All-Ireland final and it’s a brilliant
total considering there was only ten scores in the whole game.
The lively corner forward took her two first half points well,
but the composure she showed in taking the match-winning goal
just three minutes from time shows a special skill that not
many footballers possess.


YESTERDAY was an emotional occasion on many levels for the
ladies footballers of Mayo. On the pitch they retained their
All-Ireland title in almost impossibly exciting circumstances.
And straight after the final hooter their thoughts turned
to county minor Aisling McGing, who died tragically in a road
accident on her way to watch her two sisters play in this
summer’s Connacht final.

Sharon and Michelle McGing both played the full hour of yesterday’s
final, their cousin Caroline was on the bench, and they returned
to their dressing room in floods of tears. Manager Finbar
Egan didn’t wish to talk about it after the game, but it was
clear that McGing was in everyone’s thoughts – even Dublin’s.
“We commemorated her in our dressing room before the match
because that’s what sport is all about,” said Dublin manager
Mick Bohan afterwards.

Mayo needed a good helping of luck to win yesterday’s final
as they trailed by a point just seconds from the end having
failed to score in the second half. But then up popped Diane
O’Hora with a coolly taken goal under pressure to secure their
fourth All-Ireland win in five years. “I actually don’t remember
– it must be adrenaline at the time, or something,” explained
the heroine. “People say when you come to Croke Park you savour
every moment, but I don’t think you can – I’d love to but
I can’t even remember where I was five seconds ago.”

Manager Egan added: “With three minutes to go we had it lost
so you’re always delighted when you win it that way. It’s
hard on Dublin, they’re a very good team, but you have to
take it when you get it. “We were very lucky in the end, but
the heart pulled us through. ”

The silence in the Dublin dressing room was only broken by
the sound of tears after the match and manager Bohan struggled
to put those feelings into words. “I would have put our house
on us winning today. On average we were scoring 13.5 points
a game and got our lowest score of the year in an All-Ireland
final,” he lamented. “Today was our 147th time together between
challenge matches and training sessions, between sports psychologists,
dieticians and strength programmes. “What this group has done
is absolutely phenomenal. They were honest out there and brave
– in a way we are winners, we just didn’t win a football match.”

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