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Jenna Murphy’s eyes are welling up as she battles the emotions in the wake of finally scaling Everest writes Daragh Ó Conchúir. You know she is afraid that if the dam bursts, there’ll be no stopping and she has a speech to give.
This AIB All-Ireland success has been a long time in the making. There was a time when Johnstownbridge didn’t figure in the reckoning in Kildare camogie but strides were made from the ground up and they have held the whip hand domestically for a few years now.
They took the provincial competition very seriously and after a couple of years of transition, felt they were good enough to leave an imprint.
In the last two years, they found one too good for them – and not just any one. The best. In 2013 and 2014, Myshall and Kilmessan went on from beating them to claim All-Ireland honours.
It was devastating but at the same time, it copperfastened the belief that they were good enough.
Still though, you need to actually go and do it. Beating Kilmessan in this year’s Leinster final was crucial and while they endured a couple of stern examinations subsequently, particularly at the hands of Clanmaurice in the semi-final, the suspicion after dethroning the Meath crew was that this would be their year.
Yet, as Murphy waits for her celebrating team-mates to join her at the podium, and looks out onto the pitch as family and friends envelop one another in hugs and backslaps, drinking in this one-in-a-million day, she can scarcely believe it.
It is very real though, just like those tears she is fighting to contain moments before becoming an historic figure – a Johnstownbridge captain about to receive an All-Ireland trophy.
“It’s hard to put into words” smiles Murphy. “I don’t think I can believe it yet. It’s a dream come true for all of us for the last five years. It’s been a long road.
“When those losses happened we thought would we ever get there but today makes it all worthwhile.”
She smiles again, then laughs, half-embarrassed to be so emotional. No need. This is what it’s all about.
On cue, the rest of the girls are on their way over and spotting her chatting to the middle-aged ruffian with the Dictaphone, let out a loud cheer.
Another chuckle.
“God at the start of the year, I don’t think any of us actually thought about doing this. I can’t talk.
“It’s an honour to be captain of this team. All of us are like sisters. I can’t explain how well we all get on and how much of a team we are. That’s all I can say. They’re unreal.”
Well said skipper.

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