Clontúskert native Sarah Lyons was part of the Intermediate Galway team that recently won the Intermediate All-Ireland Camogie final.
To get to play in Croke Park is a massive achievement but to win an All-Ireland is another thing all together. The result was a testament to the work the players put in throughout the year.
The perfect end to the perfect day for Sarah; was having her whole family including her grandmother Eileen in the stands cheering her on.
For many playing in a game of that magnitude could be daunting so preparation is key. The team continued with the same trainings getting their body and touch work right for the match. Their main focus being the game and producing the best performance possible. For many it was, their first time playing in Croker, and they were encouraged to enjoy the experience. “Our final session before the final was our best all year so that really gave us confidence that we could win the game.”, explains Sarah .
In the last 10 years Galway has won three Senior All-Ireland Camogie titles. This intermediate side is still a young team, and the girls have time to improve and there is hope that a few members of the team can win a senior title.
The celebrations continued long into the night after the match. The team returned to Galway on the Monday. Their first stop was Maisie’s, Athlone. They were then greeted by an enthusiastic crowd at the Shearwater hotel. However, for Sarah her highlight was the celebrations that were going on in Kiltomer, there was so many people out with their bonfires. “Walking out the bus with the cup to greet them was surreal” she stated.
Being a leaving cert student is always tough - trying to find extra time to study and Sarah was no exception. She was doing lots of homework and studying in the car. The teachers in Ard-scoil Mhuire were very helpful and understanding. As the Leaving Cert became closer the management were also considerate to Sarah and allowed her to cut back on the amount of training she was doing.
She believes that her father Tommy was the most influential person on her sporting journey. When she was younger, she was brought to her brother’s hurling training as well as her own camogie training. When he was her coach, he wasn’t afraid to tell her what she did wrong so that allowed her to improve. Her mother Catherine also deserves recognition as she took her around the county and country for matches and training.
"I have been very lucky to have been taught something beneficial both on and off the field by every coach. Every coach has helped me become the player I am today . I would advise parents or young girls to try camogie as it is a great way to make friends and to teach them life skills.“ explains Sarah.
“I have to thank all our management for a wonderful year, and also everyone in my club Kiltormer, for all their support,” she concludes.
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