SARAH DERVAN was the pride of the Tribe after she became the first Galwegian to lift the O’Duffy Cup twice.
Following Sunday’s dramatic All-Ireland camogie final win over Cork, the full-back insisted it was all about the collective.
Manager Cathal Murray emphasised unity and work-rate as Galway captured their second crown in three years.
And Dervan said: “There’s 36 girls, we’re all leaders and we all went up those steps as one.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling and it just goes to show if you work hard, dreams can come true. I’m absolutely delighted.”
There were a few hairy moments in the game as Katrina Mackey’s goal gave the Rebels a three-point lead going into the final quarter.
But Galway outscored Cork 1-4 to 0-1, with Siobhán McGrath finishing for a 57th-minute goal and her sister Orlaith driving over two brilliant points.
Dervan said: “You can only control how you react. Years gone by, we reacted in the wrong way and this year we said that no matter what Cork throw at us, we’re going to react the way we wanted. We got the next point and put a little bit of belief back in us.
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“We dug really deep and every one of those girls fought with their hearts.”
It was in stark contrast to the reaction to Denise Gaule’s penalty goal for Kilkenny down the finishing stretch in last December’s final, which the Cats won by three points.
Dervan said: “We were probably in the game, nearly like a replica of this one, until the 54th minute when the penalty changed it, we didn’t react the way we wanted.
“Our goal was to get back to an All-Ireland and when we did, we’d fight for our lives. We had the belief that if we worked hard, we’d win.”
The defender revealed it was only after Orlaith McGrath’s last point that the reality of victory began to dawn on her.
She said: “Orlaith McGrath sticking over the last point, I looked up at and it was 63.04, and I went, ‘Oh my God, blow the whistle’. That was the moment, an unbelievable feeling.
“The girls, they all died with their boots on.”
Player of the match Aoife Donohue echoed her captain as she did not dwell on the individual accolade.
The Mullagh dynamo said: “It’s not about me, it’s about the team. Our backs were outstanding.”