Mourneabbey match-winner Fitzgerald on the score that won the All-Ireland

Mourneabbey match-winner Fitzgerald on the score that won the All-Ireland
Mourneabbey's Laura Fitzgerald kicks the winning point last weekend. Picture: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

SHE has scored lots of important points and goals for her side over the last few years, but none will match up to her last point for Mourneabbey in the All-Ireland ladies football final on Saturday.

Corner-forward Laura Fitzgerald put the ball over the bar with just 16 seconds left on the clock to seal their win and retain the title to make it two in a row.

Afterwards she was delighted for all involved and still couldn’t believe she has got the winning score.

“I’m extremely proud and just delighted for everyone, you can see that our attitude of never giving up really shone through there today. I mean having the ball in our own 21 with just 30 seconds to go and bring it up the field so calmly was unbelievable.”

On what went was going through her mind when she got the ball, Laura added: “Well first of all I was thinking what was Noelle (Healy) doing kicking in a high ball. I had to win possession and kind of sold their player with a move one way and with the time practically up I just had to go for it.

“Thank God I got it over the bar — I had missed a few chances during the game, but thankfully this one went over.”

Laura Fitzgerald of Mourneabbey celebrates her late score. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Laura Fitzgerald of Mourneabbey celebrates her late score. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Looking at the game overall she said: “We haven’t started well in the last few games, and it was the same today. But when push comes to shove and things are tight we will keep going and luckily we came out on the right side of the result.

“Sometimes we just about manage it, but we have had so much heartache over the years and it keeps us motivated and with the experience we have now we managed to hold our nerve to get us there.

“My first point could have been a goal but it went over the bar rather than under and I could have had a few more scores in between that I missed and my head could have dropped. But you can’t let it in games like this and I managed to keep my nerve to take that last shot on.

“We had a goal disallowed earlier that might have made that score not matter, but to be honest at the time I wasn’t sure if it was one or not. On reflection, it’s good for the game that a discussion takes place on these matters and we have the technology now to rule on it even if the decision went against me and the team.

“For my goal that counted Shane (Ronayne, their manager) would have been delighted as it was a training ground move — we moved the ball at pace out of defence, and I was lucky enough to score at the other end.

“We will enjoy the celebrations after that and to retain the title is really special,” concluded Laura.

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