Louth Ladies Captain Aine McGee reflects on Croker loss

The heartbreak was writ large on her face. But there was something more than that bothering her. The bitter disappointment of not performing was crushing Aine McGee.

The heartbreak was writ large on her face. But there was something more than that bothering her. The bitter disappointment of not performing was crushing Aine McGee.

The Louth captain had just watched her side lose an All Ireland final. It was rough.

Antrim had set out their stall early. Defend in depth and catch Louth on the break. It was simple and it was devastating in the end.

Having absorbed pressure all across their back line the Ulster side gained possession and launched the ball forward. From their Clare Timoney did the rest; she created space and fed the ball to her full forwards and ultimately it proved Louth’s undoing on a day were the Wee County failed to put in a shift.

“We just didn’t show up today. They came at us in the first ten minutes and that’s probably were we lost the game. They got the two goals and we never recovered from it. We had an awful lot of wides.

“I suppose we didn’t work as hard as we have been doing in the championship. Our main aim was to hassle hassle hassle and that came out in the last fifteen minutes, but it was too late at that stage the game was out of our hands.”

The ten minute spell midway through the first half put paid to any thoughts of Louth taking home the All Ireland title. But McGee revealed that even at half they still believed.

“We came in at half time and we still believed. Two years ago we were ahead by six points and Limerick came back and bet us by five. We knew we could do it. It can be done. We just didn’t have it in us to do it in the end.”

The latter stages of the game were characterised by an attacking onslaught from the Wee County, but the Ulster side absorbed it and scored when necessary.

“They seemed to have a wall up and we just couldn’t get through it. Goals chances we had today we might have gotten another day and points weren’t going over for us. Maybe luck wasn’t on our side either. You always need a bit of luck to win a game.

“Our performance wasn’t there either. We know it, we’re all in the dressing room now and we’re heartbroken. Everyone knows we just didn’t perform.”

Through the emotion and hurt, the Louth Captain was still able to applaud her side for their unflinching effort this year.

“I’m so proud of them, we’ve worked so hard all year. When you play football for your county, we give it just as much as the men do. We miss family occasions and socialising with our friends. We made the commitment at the start of the year that we’d come out with the silverware at the end.”