GAA Football

Antrim's Aine Tubridy delighted to get a second bite at Junior All-Ireland title

Aine Tubridy hopes Antrim can edge their replay with Fermanagh on Sunday
Louise Gunn

TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship Final

ANTRIM midfielder Aine Tubridy admits she thought the All-Ireland title was gone from their grasp when Fermanagh edged into a slender one point lead with just over two minutes remaining of their TG4 All-Ireland Championship Final in Croke Park almost two weeks ago.

However, there was still time for Orlaith Prenter to keep her calm and send over the equalising free and send the game to a replay this Saturday evening in Armagh’s Athletic Grounds (5pm).

“I think there was a wee bit of luck of on our side at the end of the game,” said Tubridy. “When Fermanagh went that point up, I thought the game was theirs.

“We probably should have won the game when you look at the number of wides we hit and, in that way, it maybe did feel like one we threw away but we are in a good position now that we have another chance because I thought Fermanagh had won it.”

They have had a chance now to review what did and did not go right and as important as it is to address what went wrong, it’s also important to try and repeat what they did well, says the St Paul’s club player.

“We have to go in and counteract what we did wrong. Our shooting was horrendous; it’s about taking your shot when you are in the best position and getting the ball to the players in the best position and we did not do that all the time.

“Watching the game back and you could see what you did well and to make sure you continue to do those runs so you know what you are doing well and then obviously work on the things that didn’t do as well.”

Tubridy has been one of the driving forces behind the Saffrons’ success this year and she is one of just two players, along with captain Cathy Carey, who survive from their last All-Ireland success in 2012 while she has also endured final heartache on the last two occasions in 2016 and last year.

“I do believe it when you say it is 10 years since we last won an All-Ireland because I have been playing all that time and it has been difficult, with not reaching finals and then getting to finals and getting beat.

“There is only myself and Cathy [Carey] that was part of the last win and I think it’s important that you do have girls around that have that experience of winning the medal.

“There are also girls there like Aislinn McFarland and others who have been on the losing side and that is important too because you have that bit of extra bite to go out and do well the next time."

Despite the lack of silverware for the senior county team, not including recent Ulster titles, Tubridy believes that football in the county is in a much better place and just the day after the 1-13 draw with Fermanagh, Tubridy was in Portglenone helping out with the Ulster Ladies Roadshow which was touring the province.

"Although Antrim haven’t won an All-Ireland title in 10 years, I feel Antrim football in itself has come on. Our underage set-up and the work that has gone in at underage and at grassroots level in Antrim is massive and Gaelfast [the coaching and games department of Antrim GAA] has added to that, it has been a massive part in growing Gaelic Games within our county and that has been a big success.

"I had made the agreement with Aidan [McLaughlin] to go to the Ulster Ladies Roadshow in Portglenone. It was a great day and it was a distraction although they did think I’d be there with the cup so I’m sure that was a bit of a disappointment for the girls. It was brilliant to be part of the roadshow and see the talent that is coming through in Ulster."

Tubridy is looking forward to Saturday's second chance and has been spurred on by Antrim's All-Ireland camogie success just last weekend.

"It was amazing for the county. Any All-Ireland win for your county is brilliant and I watched the camogs last week and it has given me that bit more of a buzz to get back and win an All-Ireland. It’s not in Croke Park but at the end of the day it’s an All-Ireland medal and that’s what everyone wants, it’s what you dream of as a child so hopefully we can go out and finish the job this weekend like they did. They went out and showed a never-say-die attitude and that’s what it is about, going out and playing to the final whistle and keeping our discipline throughout and hopefully that stands by us."

GAA Football