Sarah Dervan delighted to secure League success
By Cian O'Connell
Sarah Dervan is encouraged following a spring in which Galway collected Littlewoods Camogie League silverware.
The Galway captain was delighted with how Galway secured the title at Croke Park against Kilkenny last month.
That the victory occurred at GAA headquarters added to the feel good factor according to Dervan. "Yeah, it was brilliant," Dervan admits. "Winning a League final is a great boost for us.
"Playing out in Croke Park, for us was something special. You have to say thankfully to the Camogie Association for the hard work, and the GAA that they allowed us to showcase our game, which is massive.
"It’s massive for young girls to see ladies teams out there, working hard and showcasing what they have."
Kilkenny gave Galway a fright in the closing stages, but Dervan was satisfied that the maroon and white outfit survived. "Absolutely, no more than the hurlers, you don’t really have them bet until they’re on the bus on the way home," Dervan laughs.
"We knew, we spoke at half-time that they were going to have their purple patch, they were always going to have their purple patch. How we reacted to it was always going to be a big thing for us, because last year in the semi-final they got a goal and then two points.
"Within minutes, we were down by five, six points. We went into our shell rather than reacting well to it. When they got the first score, we were like ‘Oh God, what are we going to do?’ Then we got the second blow, it was either we react now, or we go home.
"Thankfully, Niamh Hannify, wing-forward threw over an unbelievable point and geared us back up to say ‘look, it’s not lost yet. We’re still in it’. Even though there was only a point in it at the time. We just about thankfully held on."
In recent years Kilkenny have proven too strong for Galway so Dervan accepts it was significant to prevail in a high stakes encounter. "It was great, because they beat us three times last year, in League, Championship and the semi-final. "It was huge for ourselves as players that we had the mindset, ‘Oh God, it’s Kilkenny’.
"Now we can go, ‘look, we can bring it to the best of them on any given day’, provided we go out to hurl and that’s what we did in the first half.
"The second half, we’ll take a lot of learnings. The goals weren’t unbelievable goals. They were probably sloppy. That’s something we’ll have to address and that’s something we’ll take going into the first round of Championship which is against Kilkenny."
That is the next test for Galway in what promises to be an interesting Championship.