Noelle Healy of Dublin reacts at the final whistle during the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final. Picture: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

A TEARFUL Noelle Healy. pictured, credited a “phenomenal” team effort as she was awarded player of the match in the All Ireland Ladies’ Final, as the Jackies swatted aside Mayo to bring home a long awaited Brendan Martin Cup.
“It’s unbelievable,” Healy said as she picked up the award. “The last few years have obviously been very difficult to take. It’s such a great group of girls, we love playing football, we love playing with each other and we love playing for Dublin. This is just beyond words.
“We’ve been working really hard on just doing the simply things, and playing the brand of football we like to play. Coming into the year, that’s all that Mick [Bohan] and all the management team were relaying, just do the simple things, just go out there and play your style of football.”
“That’s what we did,” she explained. “We just stuck to it. We probably missed a few opportunities that we’d have been disappointed with, but it was just ‘next ball, next ball’. I think our bench was phenomenal. We were unfortunate to lose Sinead Finnegan [injured, in the first half], who’s been a stand out player for us this year.
“Dee Murphy, who’s been pushing our standards so hard in training, she came on and just drove us on. The same with Fiona Hudson, and as for Sarah McCaffrey [who came off the bench to score two goals], what can you say. Phenomenal.”
Captain Sinead Aherne lifted the Brendan Martin Cup after the game, and credited Mayo in her post match speech, saying they’d “brought so much to this final.”
Aherne, who was a dominant attacking figure in the contest despite seeing her first half penalty saved, continued by thanking the county board, the supporters and the team.
“The support of our clubs has been critical,” the Sylvester’s woman added. “To Mayo, we can only say that we’ve been where you are now.
“We know the pain of defeat, but we also know that it can be overcome. We expected a massive battle today and you challenged us at every step. We know that we’ll see you back here soon.”
“A special thank you for those who’ve been with us throughout, bringing us back from painful defeats as well as celebrating victory. It means more than we can ever express.”