Katie Power lifts the O’Duffy Cup after she helped Kilkenny to a 15th All-Ireland Senior Camogie success against Cork on Sunday afternoon. Picture: James Crombie/Inpho
Katie Power has known her own adversity, watching the 2020 triumph on crutches after suffering a horrific broken kneecap while running.
The road back has not been smooth, even though she played in last year’s championship.
But the travails are well worth it now.
“It doesn’t actually seem real,” said Power.
“I can’t put it into words.
“To miss out on 2020 and the slog and the heartbreak that this team has gone through in the last 12 months with deaths, with injuries and whatever was thrown at us, we just kept coming back.
“I know it’s a cliché but the spirit in this group, whatever was thrown at us we took it and we just kept coming back.
“It’s unbelievable. I’m so grateful to be standing here and without my family and my friends that supported through all them tough days, I wouldn’t be here.
“There are times when things aren’t going well and even at points last year, I might train for two weeks and then be so sore I couldn’t train for a month and I was getting injections.
“Come this winter I just put in so much work to get myself as strong as possible and thankfully it came good for us in the end.”
The game was an encapsulation of what they have encountered, having to deal with blow after blow. And having lost one-point finals to Cork in 2017 and 2018, it did cross Power’s mind that the same might happen again.
“It was like previous years but there’s something different with this group.
“We weren’t even playing well.
“We’d get level and they’d go straight back up and get ahead.
“We could have thrown in the towel but a girl that had never played in an All-Ireland final - she played five minutes of championship in a semi-final and comes on and scores the winner, and that’s what the group is about.”
She never had any doubt about Gaule splitting the posts, even though the Windgap legend hasn’t been at her normally reliable best in that department for the last month.
“No! Not a hope. I didn’t have any doubt. What a woman, like.
“She’s been such a servant to Kilkenny. Thirteen years she’s been going and she’s dug us out of games.
“And she was there today, things weren’t going our way, she was back in the full-back line there the last five minutes hitting balls out.
“That’s what it’s about. It’s not about me or Gaule.
“ It’s about the whole panel and that’s just there to be seen today.”
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