There were no medals handed out against Inagh-Kilnamona a fortnight ago but it was still considered Scariff-Ogonnelloe’s most crucial ever hour.
Having lost the last two senior championship semi-finals to the same opposition along with the Division 1 League decider after extra-time at the end of May, it was essentially make-or-break for this group according to captain Mairead Scanlan.
“Everyone was saying going into that semi-final that all the pressure was on Inagh-Kilnamona as they were the champions and going for four-in-a-row. But we did feel a little bit of pressure and we probably put it on ourselves becuase we have said from the very start of the year that we want to go one step further this year and make a final.
“So after topping the group, we presumed we would avoid Inagh-Kilnamona in the semi-final but Truagh beat them and we had to face Inagh-Kilnamona again for the third semi-final in a row so we said we simply had to win this match.
“It was just one of those things that it didn’t matter how we got there, we just had to dig out a result and having also lost the league final to them earlier this year, we knew we were getting closer to them so to actually win it was huge for us.”
And with the semi-final bridesmaid tag now off their backs, Scariff-Ogonnelloe are now only 60 minutes away from a first ever senior title, having soared up through the ranks since their permanent amalgamation in 2012.
“I remember winning a junior title with the club, we then won an intermediate and while we came back down again, we were able to bounce back to senior and have solidified our position since then by getting to two semi-finals and now a final.
“We have been getting closer year on year so we’re not there to make up numbers, we really want to win this final now.
“We’re super confident and that comes from winning matches. We’ve beaten both finalists of the past few years in Inagh-Kilnamona and Newmarket in both league and championship so getting those wins have provided us with self-belief that maybe we didn’t fully have in other years.
“We know that we can beat anyone on a given day so hopefully we can do it on Saturday.
“It’s a great opportunity and we’re buzzing for it now.”
And while Scariff-Ogonnelloe’s senior final experience pales in significance to final opponents Newmarket-on-Fergus who are contesting their ninth decider this decade, the captain doesn’t see that as a decisive factor.
“LIsten, we’re a young team and everyone has to have their first chance at a senior final at some stage. We’ve played in a load of intermediate finals, two Munster and All-Ireland Club Finals, some of the girls have played colleges finals and have inter-county experience. I’ve played Ashbourne Cup, Susan Vaughan captained UL in Ashbourne while Marian O’Brien has won a Munster Senior medal with Clare.
“So while we haven’t played in a senior final before, we’ve loads of big game experience in other camogie finals.
“It will be different and all new to us but we’re excited for it and everyone is really looking forward for Saturday’s game now.”