We are a bit removed from that great day in Croke Park, where Carlow claimed their second-ever Joe McDonagh Cup.
However, it is still on the lips of every hurling fan Barrowside. Last weekend we caught up with shot-stopper Brian Tracey, Captain Paul Doyle, and of course the county’s leading all-time scorer, Marty Kavanagh.
While Marty did delve into the game itself, we first wanted to know how the St. Mullins man felt before the game threw-in,
“When you wake up the Saturday morning you just say “We are here now, thank God.” There is no more waiting around, going to sleep the night before. It is happening today, and that is a big excitement, butterflies in your stomach at the start. “
“We met early enough, so there was not much time to wait around. Just pure excitement, heading for Croke Park, knowing the crowd behind you coming up. it is a special day. Obviously, in the back of your mind, you might let yourself think of that full-time whistle going and how you would feel, just for a split second. “
“It was everything and more, the aftermath, the feeling we had. It was the day you want to live the whole time, it is why we go back to training again.”
See also: Carlow chairperson Jim Bolger beams with pride days on from Joe McDonagh Final
Come the final whistle in Croke Park, Marty finished the whole Joe McDonagh Cup campaign with a total of 3-71 ( 2-0 Penalties, 45 frees, 4’65). In fact he finished the whole competition as the top scorer, however despite all these scores it was possible that it was one missed that would play on the mind of the talisman.
In the closing moments of the game, Marty stood over a free and the usually clinical striker, unfortunately, missed the opportunity to draw the game level. Speaking to Scoreline Marty said while it disappointed him to miss, he had no time to dwell on it;
“Straight away you are like “Ahhhh Jaysus.” You are disappointed in yourself, but you just have to refocus because there are two minutes left. It was not the last puck of the game. Obviously, you are very disappointed but you just have to get back on it again.”
“Thankfully it all worked out and I did not have to live with that, so thank God. The ball ended up in Diarmuid Byrnes’s hands who hit the equalising point. I am very grateful for that, but these things happen and that is why you have teammates, to get you out of stuff. So I am very grateful for that.”
You can hear the full interview below on Scoreline Extra: