*Áine O’Loughlin. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
ÁINE O’Loughlin never had any doubt but that she was going to go for goal when Truagh/Clonlara were awarded a 20m free in the third minute of ‘added time’ in Saturday’s Clare senior camogie final.
“When you get an opportunity to hit the ball to the net you must go for it. They were all shouting on the sideline, throw it over the bar, there is enough time left to get another one but there was only one thing on my mind. If I didn’t stick it I would have got killed. I knew we needed a goal and thank God it went in because I would have been killed if it didn’t”, she said amidst receiving congratulations from team mates and supporters.
“There was no doubt but that I was going for it and Thank God I had the luck today, other days it mightn’t have gone in,” she reflected.
According to the Truagh/Clonlara and Clare full forward, “this means everything to this team. We have faced a lot of challenges this year with injuries.. We have been written off from the start of the season, no one expected anything from us. The heart that is in this team really shone through today. We got over one obstacle after another and today is really the icing on the cake. We have achieved our goal”.
Praising the opposition she said “it’s special to beat Scariff/Ogonnelloe, they are a phenomenal team. We have come up against them for the past couple of years. If you count the drawn game we have played three finals against them prior to today, we had our homework done, they are a brilliant team and we haven’t a bad word to say about them. Today is just brilliant”.
Áine also acknowledged the part the victory by the Clonlara hurlers the previous week had played in the camogie success, her older brothers Micheál (corner forward) and Páraic (wing back) both played starring roles. “If that didn’t put a fire in our bellies I don’t know what would, seeing the boys win really inspired us, we will celebrate this one and then we will start thinking about Munster”.