Lundy goes above and beyond the call of duty for Corofin
By John Harrington
Micheál Lundy’s commitment to the Corofin cause could never be questioned.
It takes a special sort of single-minded dedication to convince yourself you’ll be able to play in a Connacht Club Final just 10 days after having your appendix removed.
Not only did Lundy achieve that feat, he scored a crucial goal that helped Corofin to an extra-time victory over Castlebar Mitchels.
When he talks about it now it’s with a very matter of fact, no big deal, sort of attitude.
But it clearly required a lot of mental as well as physical fortitude to make it happen.
“Once I came out of surgery, it was quiet sore, it was bruised and tender at the time and there were stiches in there,” recalled Lundy when he spoke to GAA.ie.
“It was a Thursday morning I came out and I literally sat on the couch for a week.
“Slight walking around, didn't push it because I didn't want to aggravate it.
“The doctor said the best thing I could do was to rest up for as long as you can. Then seven days later, on the following Thursday, I went for a run and got on the bike to see how I was.
“The Friday was the last training before the Connacht Final and I did a bit there. I went to the physio earlier on in the week and he was saying, 'No'. But he was probably thinking of his own back, he wanted to cover himself, which was fair enough.
“I suppose he was a bit worried for me, but I told him the Doc said there's a possibility. He said to see how it goes because there was a bit of swelling.
“Then on the Friday it was still a bit sore but he said to go for a run. Kevin (Corofin manager Kevin O’Brien) said I'd have to do a small bit of the drills because he was conscious that if I couldn't do them on Friday then I probably wouldn't be able to perform on Sunday.
“I did them and training went alright. He tested me again in the warm-up on the Sunday before the game. I got in and just got physical because I wanted to see how it would react.
“I wasn't hiding away from it because if it was going to be sore there was no point in me playing because I'd only be harming the team's chances. I felt grand, and it worked out.”
Lundy’s surgery was kept as quiet as possible in the days before the Connacht Final, but once the match was underway he soon discovered the cat was out of the bag.
“I actually remember Paddy Durcan was marking me and he must have got wind of it because he said it to me. I don't think he believed it, though.
“He was asking me, 'How’s the appendix?' I just said, 'Fine'. But I don't know if he was being sincere or was he trying to find out. So, I just said it was grand and that was the end of it.
“Yeah, no belts in it thankfully and I came out of it alive with a good win.”
The lure of wearing that Corofin jersey in championship action has always been a strong one for Lundy.
It looked like he was set for a long sojourn abroad when he moved to New York the day after Corofin were beaten by Castlebar in the 2015 Connacht Final.
But when he returned home in late September 2016 for his Grandmother’s funeral, the temptation to help Corofin win another Galway championship was ultimately enough to persuade him stay at home for good.
“I enjoyed it (New York) a lot and was actually very tempted to stay at the time,” said Lundy. “That time I came home, I came home for my Grandmother's funeral and then my sister was getting married a couple of weeks later.
“When I came home I started training and was just home initially for the funeral. I had intentions of going back and had still all my stuff left over there.
“I started training and then there was a county semi-final coming up and I asked Kevin could I get involved because I was still eligible to play.
“He was, like, 'Yeah', so I came on in that match. The County Final was the weekend of my sister's wedding which was in Rome so I had to leave that wedding early to come home to play the County Final.
“There was a run in Connacht then so I just decided I was going to stay at home.
“Once we beat Castlebar I went over and just got the rest of my stuff from New York and just got rid of the room over there, stayed at home, and here I am still.”
Last year’s club campaign ended with an All-Ireland semi-final defeat to eventual champions Dr. Crokes of Kerry.
The memory of that loss will surely act as an extra source of motivation when they play Kildare and Leinster champions Moorefield on Saturday in another All-Ireland semi-final.
“Some lads can take more of an edge from it," said Lundy. "We're an extremely motivated and driven group anyway.
“Our aim is to be around this time of year anyway. Last year we weren't dwelling on it too much. We learned a bit from it and studied it afterwards and it was just one of those days that didn't work out for us.
“Dr. Crokes were very good on the day and they executed the game-plan a lot better than we did. I suppose it was disappointing, no-one wants to lose an All-Ireland semi-final.
“We probably felt we could have performed better, but it just wasn't to be. That was credit to Crokes and the way they play.
“Hopefully we'll learn a bit from that. The younger lads probably gained a bit of experience. Everyone gained some experience, not just the younger lads.
“Hopefully we can push on now and win next Saturday.”