If anyone knows what it takes to lead a team to County Final glory, it’s Margaret Lafferty.
Having been there and done that with Kilnamona side that claimed senior glory in 1999, 2004, 2006 and 2007, Margaret is now planning to help the newly formed Inagh/Kilnamona collect their first ever senior title.
Last year they lost out to Newmarket-on-Fergus in the decider, while they will play the same opponents on Saturday, Lafferty feels her side have changed a lot over the past twelve months. “We’re really looking forward to the game, we’re delighted to be in another county final, hopefully we won’t be disappointed like we were last year, we have prepared well the girls are a year older a year wiser they have that experience behind them and they’re more focused this year”.
They’ve come the tough way to reach the final with group wins over Clooney/Quin and Kilmaley while their semi-final outing against Sixmilebridge was a real test and one they didn’t look like passing until the final ten minutes. The semi-final was a game Inamona could have easily lost but they showed what they’re made of by grinding out the result. “The girls held their composure and they just needed to get that score to go in front and once that happened everyone upped their game and we were lucky to win by two points”.
It’s as if the clock has been rolled back for Margaret who is once again managing her two daughters Siobhan and Fiona as they prepare for a County Final. Full-back Siobhan has returned to Ireland having lived in Australia for several years, her presence will make a big difference as will that of Fiona who has missed the entire year through injury.
“It’s great to have her, she’s one of the experienced players now as is Claire Commane and Michelle Wynne, it’s great to have the mix of youth and experience” Margaret said of Siobhan while she was thrilled to see Fiona introduced in the semi-final win “It was great that she could come on and she was delighted to be part of it for this year anyway”.
In preparing for their County Final last year, Margaret had to worry about getting from the camogie final to the men’s football equivalent as her son Damian was lining out with St Josephs Miltown, this year she doesn’t have the same dilemma but wished she did but it now allows for full concentration on the camogie.
“I’d be more delighted if we had the dual clash because I’d loved to have seen Miltown in the County Final, this year it wouldn’t have happened because they’re on different dates so we’ll concentrate on the camogie anyway and fight for that silverware”.
To be the best you must beat the best and standing in Inamona’s way are a Newmarket-on-Fergus side out to put back to back titles together. If they have learned their lessons from last year Margaret is confident her charges can do the business. “Newmarket are a great side and certainly we cannot take anything for granted, it’s going to be a huge battle and we’re certainly going to be up for it, obviously we’re going to go all out to win it and just hoping that our girls would have learned from last year and they don’t want to be on the losing side, they know what it is to be disappointed.”
With camogie county finals once again become an annual outing for the Lafferty family and with Margaret patrolling the sidelines while Siobhan and Fiona don the jersey you could be forgiven for forgetting what year it is, if Inamona win their first title on Saturday, the Lafferty clan will party like its 1999 when Kilnamona won their first.