*Colm Galvin with PJ Gully. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

WORKRATE and familiarity in each other’s roles formed a big difference in the eyes of Colm Galvin as a reason for Clonlara ending a fifteen year wait to win the Clare SHC.

A member of the Clonlara senior panel since 2010, Colm was part of the starting team which lost back to back finals in 2015 and 2016.

As he made his mark in the county colours winning an All-Ireland senior medal in 2013, three All-Ireland and Munster U21 medals plus two Munster minor medals, a coveted senior championship with Clonlara always seemed to elude him, that was until Sunday when a five point win over Crusheen saw them lift the Canon Hamilton.

Colm told The Clare Echo, “It’s been a long-time waiting for this to be honest, we’ve been very close so many times but we just weren’t able to get over the line so today is a release of emotions”.

Past heartaches left him scarred and it’s why Galvin was nervous when Oisin O’Donnell goaled on forty four minutes to cut the deficit to three points. “It is a bit surreal because to be honest I felt we were slipping down again when they got the goal in the second half but we managed to get another one to bring it back to six points again which was very important”.

Since returning to the side, Colm has gone quietly about his business at wing-forward but impacted from general play and also on the scoreboard hitting 0-2 against Sixmilebridge and 0-3 against Feakle in the semi-final.

Returning to the field of play has been a joy for Galvin who called time on his inter-county career in February 2022 at the age of 28 due to a persistent groin injury. “I was happy to come out here and get the win even I wasn’t playing but to be able to come out here, come out play a game and walk off the field without injury is brilliant, I’m feeling fairly decent now, I’d nearly say that I’m back well a small little bit, I’m delighted to get back to the fitness that I have at the moment, run out and play the game at this level with your friends and family which is all you want, it is brilliant”.

Galvin’s return certainly strengthened a middle third, the sector of the field where Clonlara really overpowered all of their opponents this season.

Giving his view on what was different about Clonlara in 2023, Colm said, “Honestly it is the workrate, lads know their role so well, even with the subs coming on they know what they have to do, there is no bullshit about the team they will work their arses off, they’ll do what they have to do, there is no one on this panel bigger than anyone else from one to thirty. We’ve lads that make the panel so much better and so entertaining outside of the dressing room, lads are probably spending more time together too outside of training, playing golf, swimming and going to the sea to get recovery sessions in, it was all a bit of craic and the more you spend time with lads the bond gets stronger and the team get closer, lads were really willing to die for each other out there”.

Getting over the line on a team that also included his younger brother Ian added to the experience. “My cousin Kieran has only come back from America as a surprise there on Friday, he would have been playing if he didn’t do his cruciate, it really is a family environment around, you’ve the two O’Loughlins, David Fitzgerald and his brother. I was trying to give Ian a couple of good balls inside but it was really tightening, to win with him is extra special”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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