CAPTAIN and birthday girl Treasa McCarthy’s voice shook with emotion at times as she delivered her acceptance speech upon receiving the cup from camogie championship sponsor John O’Leary of SE Systems on Saturday afternoon.
In what was a great speech, Treasa took her time and thanked the many people who have Inniscarra camogie where it is today.
In training conditions from snow to ice cream, breakfasts to ice baths you could tell that this was a very united Inniscarra group with the relationship between players and management something special.
Aoife Kavanagh got a special mention, side-lined to a cruciate injury, as did the entire backroom team. Kevin Murphy left no stone unturned and Dad Joe McCarthy was as ever the caring father figure to the girls, always checking in. Joe, a selector with the side, has been involved with Inniscarra camogie on and off in various roles for over 25 years.
A thorough gentleman, "I’m sure they're sick of hearing my voice," he said.
Reflecting on the game in the immediate aftermath Joe praised the effort of the team.
"I suppose indeed we were missing Joanne (Casey) from last year, who was our main free taker and what became a loss to us which we got over today was Aoife Kavanagh with her cruciate ligament (injury). A second one unfortunately but I think the girls put in the effort for her as well."
All over the field, the battling qualities that Inniscarra possessed was significant.
Every time they lost possession they hunted in packs. There was tremendous heart in the side.
"Well I think you summed it up after the Ballincollig match where you said that Inniscarra ‘hounded’ them. I think that was our motto from the start. Never give up, never give in, fight for the ball and that’s what has gone through every match and particularly here."
Inniscarra got their matchups right on the day, particularly Rena Buckley picking up Linda Collins and Rebecca Keane on Fiona Keating.
"Yeah we put a lot of thought into it. I suppose it was important to get our match-ups, that’s what it’s all about whether its hurling or football or camogie, at whatever level. It’s about getting your match-ups right and thanks be to God they worked for us."
Outside of the more prominent names on the team Inniscarra’s overall display, from every player, was excellent. The likes of Caitlin Looney, Áine O’Regan, Rebecca Quigley, Erin Looney and Jenny Burke all did a truly competent job.
Of course, there’s no prouder man on the field than a father after his daughter has won such a prestigious medal and Joe was no different. Treasa celebrated her 34th birthday. What a day it was for her. Joe was beaming.
"Yeah, it’s her birthday and there’s a number of coincidences. Today was the 13th, she was number 13 and we scored 1-13."
Before the players, mentors, family and friends headed off for a meal and back to the clubhouse for a night of celebration there was a certain matter of a Munster championship game to discuss.
"Yes, we’ve a Munster championship game now in two weeks’ time and we’re looking forward to that because I suppose two years ago we had to tog out two days after (the county final) and last year it was 22 hours so hopefully we’ll represent the county well and also do the club justice."
I’m sure they will.