*Michelle Caulfield and Laura Foley lift the McMahon Cup. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

IT WAS a busy week for Truagh/Clonlara’s joint captain, Michelle Caulfield and there were causes for celebration from start to finish.

Cusack Park was the start and end point. It ended with her climbing the steps in the stand at Cusack Park to jointly accept the McMahon Cup along with Laura Foley, marking their club’s first ever victory in the Clare senior camogie championship.

Six days earlier she watched the parish senior hurling team in which her husband John Conlon was a key figure, capture the Canon Hamilton cup.

In midweek she patrolled the sideline as her school, Monaleen won the Limerick under 13 A schools title for the third year in a row. “I said after that success that this is the end of the three in a rows (Scariff/Oginnelloe were going for their third Clare senior title in a row while, if that had happened it would mean that Truagh/Clonlara would have been beaten in the final for a third year in a row).

“This is unbelievable, it’s a dream come true. I just can’t find words right now to describe this”.

Michelle who was part of Parteen/Meelick’s intermediate management as a psychologist said she always believed they could win the game, even when they trailed by two points with sixty four minutes on the clock. “When you have Áine O’Loughlin in the square you always have a chance. Our forwards worked tirelessly throughout the game. We knew if we kept working hard that eventually we would get there”.

O’Loughlin a regular starter in the county senior side does not get the appreciation she deserves, according to Michelle. “Locky has been practising those 21s and penalties, we knew that she could do it. She is down at the field morning, noon and night, she doesn’t get the credit she deserves”.

She continued, “we have trained so hard in the last few weeks and we knew we were ready, everybody else wrote us off. We knew we had it. The hurlers win was a huge boost. We lapped up that. We wanted to feel like the lads did last week. We wanted that success having lost the last two. We knew if we turned up and if we worked hard we had a right chance. We haven’t looked past this, it’s been one game at a time”.

With injuries ruling out Eimear Kelly, Michelle Powell and Becky Foley, it saw Truagh/Clonlara defy the odds to win the championship. “We lost most of our other county players this year. Our girls stood up, our younger girls, the 18/19, year olds, some doing their leaving certs, they stood up. We are immensely proud of everyone. We were completely written off, everyone was talking about who we hadn’t and nobody was talking about who we had on the field”.

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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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