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Ferris basks in redemptive All-Ireland victory for Kilmacud
By John Harrington
Todays AIB All-Ireland Club Football Final win was a redemptive one for Kilmacud Crokes goalkeeper, Conor Ferris.
He produced a brilliant injury-time save to deny Glen what would have been a match-winning goal, and in the process made amends for the decisive injury-time goal he conceded in last years Final against Kilcoo.
His intercepted clearance led to that goal, so he took it very personally. To be the hero this time around was a very sweet moment for the goalkeeper
Yeah, from a personal point of view, I came off very hurt last year, said Ferris after the match. Its just great to do it. Its almost like a redemption.
Last year was one of the toughest days Ive had ever. I said to Robbie Kilmacud manager Robbie Brennan once, I think it was a couple of months later, where is my silver medal, I want to keep that and put it on the mantelpiece so I see it every day and have the motivation to come back and go one further than last year.
If you were talking to anyone, theyll say the last five minutes of last year was in our minds coming up to the end. Two points up, its a dangerous lead. Im still coming back down to earth. Im over the moon. Its a very hard thing to come back and win one.
Ferriss save from Conor Glasss late sidefooted shot was of the very highest calibre, and he wasnt quite sure himself how he did it.
I dont really know what happened. I watched it back once. One of our defenders was to the left so the only place he could go was to the right. I kind of just jumped and hoped for the best.
Thank God it went around the right side of the post. I couldnt have told you who shot, who it hit off. Just so delighted it went the right way around the post.
"They had three or four chances but we had a good scramble back.
Kilmacud Crokes manager, Robbie Brennan, wasnt surprised that Ferris was the hero of the hour. In fact, he predicted thats exactly what would transpire.
I told the lads at the team meeting on Thursday that Conor would win us the All-Ireland, said Brennan.
I said it at half-time again, Conor would win us the All-Ireland. I knew because Glen would go after goals probably in order to beat us. I was aware of his ability, that hes a brilliant shot-stopper would come into play. When they were getting through I still backed him. I even thought he might save the first one in the first minute, hes that good.
For Brennan, this win was all the sweeter because they last years Final ended in such heartache.
Thats one of the proudest things, he said. We said on Thursday that probably and possibly last year should have broken us, realistically. Not that we lost but how we lost. It should have broken us as a group and management but it didnt.
We took a bit of strength from that as it went on through the weeks and months, as the championship started building. Its such fine margins. We could be sitting here having lost again. I dont know what wed be saying if that was the case.
Conor mentions his runners up medal. We had it there at half-time. Its sitting in my house for the last year. I was wondering when to pull them out. I basically did the old Joe Kernan, hopped them off the wall at half-time and said, 'if you want them you can take them'."
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