Saturday 21 September 2019

Murphy aiming to play captain's part after panic attack 'mishap'

Clontarf's Sarah Murphy. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Clontarf's Sarah Murphy. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Clontarf captain Sarah Murphy has one chance left this season to force her way back into Mick Cronin's starting team, but if she doesn't get the nod to start in Saturday's All-Ireland Intermediate Club final against Emmet Óg, she'll wait patiently for the call.

Murphy (27) was a regular starter all year until the Leinster semi-final against Wicklow side Tinahely, when a panic attack just before throw-in stopped her in her tracks.

She had never experienced something like it before and it meant she was left weakened by the experience and sat out the game.

In a competitive squad like Clontarf's, players are asked to take every chance that's handed to them.

Murphy has had to be content with a bench role since but she's determined to fulfil whatever role is required of her at Parnell Park on Saturday (7.30pm).

"I had a bit of a mishap before our Leinster semi-final and I haven't gotten my position back in there yet. Hopefully, I'll be back in for the All-Ireland final," said Murphy, who is in her 17th year playing with the Dublin and Leinster Intermediate champions.

"I had my first ever panic attack before the game, hopefully that doesn't happen again. It happened just 20 minutes before the game in the changing room with everybody around. I tried to get back up and get out and run and everyone told me I'd be grand. That's what I needed, not to dwell on it, but I didn't have the energy to get out there. Thankfully, the girls pulled through for me.

"Absolutely, I want to play on Saturday. I've kind of come to terms with what may have brought it on. I think maybe it was just people saying this, that and the other about the other team. For my own self I don't need to know how good the other team are, we'll go out and play our own game. There has been two games since it happened and I've come on in both. Hopefully, please God, I'll get the chance this weekend."

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It's a short 5km trip for Clontarf into Parnell Park to take on the Monaghan girls from Emmet Óg and Aghabog, and despite being favourites for victory in many people's eyes, Murphy regards reaching the final as a bonus.

Clontarf had lost five Dublin intermediate finals in 11 years, including the last three deciders, so sealing victory against Cuala was a huge deal for them.

"We're taking anything in our stride - each win is great," said Murphy, who works as a special needs assistant in St Canice's Boys School in Finglas.

"After the two previous finals we thought we couldn't do it again, and on the day it didn't work out for us for whatever reason.

"I can't tell you how we did it this year, but we just did. Hopefully we'll go all the way now."

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