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Ciaran McGrath and Micheal Lundy lift the Andy Merrigan Cup at Croke Park.

Ciaran McGrath and Micheal Lundy lift the Andy Merrigan Cup at Croke Park.

Ciaran McGrath - Corofin's proud leader

By Cian O'Connell

Ciaran McGrath was the last Corofin player to leave the Croke Park pitch.

The Andy Merrigan Cup had been hoisted by McGrath and Micheal Lundy in the Hogan Stand capping another remarkable campaign for the Galway, Connacht, and All Ireland champions.

McGrath, who played three quarters of the March 17, 2015 decider against Slaughtneil with a cruciate ligament injury, was Corofin's proud leader.

Another serious knee problem was suffered in the Connacht Final against Castlebar Mitchels in November, but McGrath battled back for Saturday's showpiece. "You want to be part of it and it is hard not to be part of it no matter what game you play with the lads," McGrath remarked moments after Corofin's latest triumph.

"It is a special group that we have and you want to be part of it while it is going good. It won't be around forever and you can see at times with the football we play, we enjoy what we do.

"You can see it in the way the forwards are running off each other. For the goal, I was just thinking wow, I'd hate to be a defender down that side, it is great."

Captaining your club to the ultimate honour is an amazing feat.

"It is great, it is something you don't expect to do, but it is something you dream of, especially when you hit 33, you are running out of time," McGrath acknowledged.

"The main thing was we got the win, it is extra special to captain Corofin, it is something that will live long in the memory.

"We have gone from been a good team to be up there with the best now that we have two won. There is more left in this side. We will enjoy the next few weeks, but will then try to pull it back together again somehow."

That Corofin produced when it truly counted against Nemo Rangers at GAA headquarters delighted McGrath. "We were primed coming up, we were buzzing coming into it, this is the best stage of them all," McGrath stated.

"It is what we are good at, we are playing football a long time and when you get to Croke Park I think it would be a shame if you didn't cut loose. That is what we did, especially our forwards."

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