Mrs Devlin hails St Colm's girls on winning All-Ireland
St Colm's Draperstown coach Fiona Devlin described her team as 'just immense' after ending an 11 year gap to secure the school's second All-Ireland camogie title on Saturday.
She also paid tribute to the Principal, Roisin McKenna, both the school and local community who got behind the team in their quest for glory.
St Colm's trailed by 1-3 to 0-0 after 21 minutes. Devlin points to the strong breeze and nerves being a factor.
“We finished the half extremely strong, we could've been level or even ahead so we knew the only team that is going to beat us today is ourselves. That's how confident we were,” Devlin said.
It took time for them to swing the game in their favour and on a day when they struggled for scores, Aoife Doyle's goal was the game-changer.
“It was a massive moment,” Devlin agreed. “We did have chances but you have to give credit to St Cuan's, their defence made it very difficult for us. They played a sweeper in the second half and were hoovering up ball and making it difficult.
“For the goal, Aoife just hand-passed and it went past three or four people. They were probably expecting her to use the stick but it was smart play.”
Devlin also felt her own team's defence was the rock on which the victory was built.
That (goal) put us in front and it gave us the energy and belief that we were at the finish line. It was like a marathon, the girls they were getting stronger and the energy levels were increasing.
“Our defence, as a unit, was immense. Shannon (Scullion) and Cliodhna (Hickson) were outstanding but credit goes to the corner and wing girls, everybody did their job.”
All through the campaign, Devlin pointed to the importance of the local community. The winning team of 2009 have coached many of the current team during their careers in Ballinascreen. There was even a moment going down on the bus when the school's last winning captain Fiona Breen sent a message of good luck.
She is in Australia, Devlin revealed the connection is always there, the pupils that have gone through our school, the bond is that tight.
“The support from the staff, the players' families and the extended community, both Desertmartin and Ballinascreen. It was a great day for Derry and Ulster Colleges' camogie.”