*Scariff/Ogonnelloe players celebrate their success. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
ONLY five days before Saturday’s Munster senior camogie club final Susan Vaughan discovered that she was going to line out in the decider.
Sent off on a straight red card in the dying moments of Scariff/Ogonnelloe’s Munster semi-final win over Inniscarra, an appeal before the Munster Camogie Association saw Susan’s dismissal rescinded, a decision that manager David Sullivan was always confident would materialise.
Fortunately for the East Clare amalgamation that this was the outcome with the former Clare senior captain very involved in the opening half particularly. Playing alongside Ciara Doyle and Rachel Minogue in the half-back line, they were central to stopping Drom & Inch from gaining a foothold in the contest as the Tipperary side failed on several occasions to get the ball over the trio.
Reflecting on the build-up to the final, Susan recounted, “It was a bit up in the air before Tuesday, I’m glad that I got to play today and that the Munster Council rescinded my red card. I have no qualms with any referee’s decision, I’m just delighted to have been playing”.
Scariff/Ogonnelloe were always going to keep fighting till the end, the ex Irish women’s sevens rugby player stressed. “I think we built such serious confidence from the county final against Truagh/Clonlara that we have this instilled still to keep going until the final whistle, if you give up there is no point playing, we went to the final whistle. My heart goes out to that poor girl from Drom & Inch, it takes such character to take a free like that, thankfully for us it went to the right side of the goals, there is such character in this team and a great blend of youth and experience, it mashes well together”.
Trailing by two points with five minutes of additional time played, Susan went upfield as Mairead Scanlan took a long range free. The placed ball dropped into the danger area, Susan managed to get onto it and offloaded to Lorraine Grady whose shot was blocked, the resulting break fell to Scanlan who produced a rip-roaring effort that sealed the deal hitting the roof of the net.
She played her part in the match-winning moment but the Ogonnelloe woman was glad the ball fell to their joint captain. “I don’t care who gets it,” she said of the winner. “I must have got stage fright up there, Mairead turned to me and said what were you doing there but we had to push on to try get something from the game, there is no one better to put the ball in the back of the net than Mairead, I’m so happy it fell to her and that she did the job”.
Based in the capital, the reverberation from the East Clare crowd was very influential in Mallow, she maintained. “What makes it sweet is playing with the girls and seeing all the work they put in, it doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing it’s about the team, doing the basics really well and repeating the basics, that is what this team does, we’re not flashy we just work hard and that’s what makes it so enjoyable. When we got the goal, the noise off the stadium just drove us on”.