This guest post by Ryan McGovern is one of a series written by sports management students in the Limerick Institute of Technology.
My Personal Best goes back to 2012 when I was playing gaelic football with the local team 'Na Gaeil'. I was playing my first year at minor level, the group of lads playing this year was relatively strong compared to pervious years but by no means could we predict for what we went on to achieve.
A few footballers from Castlegregory joined our team as they didn't have enough players to make a team at minor level. Thankfully these lads had a positive effect to our team. It took a few games to get used to the strengths and weaknesses of the Castlegregory lads but once the team chemistry was up we then became a strong team fit for going far in the County Championship.
We seemed to breeze through the competition beating other teams by a large deficit, We were amazed at the performances we were pulling off but it wasn't until the final where we giving a run for our money.
We were playing Ballyheigue at the neutral grounds off Austin Stacks in Tralee. Ballyheigue had been tipped to win it from the start of the season and we were hoping to face them as late into it as possible. On the day I was starting half back. It was a physical game from the get-go with heavy challenges. It was a very even game all the way through, it came to the last ten minutes and the score was equal, suddenly Ballyheigue were through on goal but the shot was thankfully deflected and went over the bar. Soon after they added another point with only five minutes left, it was looking like it was going to be their day but we replied with a point of our own. As the game was going into the dying minutes and fatigue was kicking in they gave away a free just inside their 45', Our free taker Darren had only scored two out of five frees so far so this added to the nervy situation, thankfully he put it over !
We were level once again and it was now into added time, it was all down to the next attack from their kick-out, as the big kick went up between the midfielders, the ball was punched down and we won the break and began to work it up the field to goal, Our full forward ended up getting a yard of space ahead of his man, he collected the ball and what turned out to be the last kick of the game, sailed it over the bar and between the posts, we went insane with delight as the final whistle blew!
This is My Personal Best as it is a huge feat in itself coming from one of the smaller clubs in Tralee but it was also in which the manor it was done, to win the game by 1 point with the last kick of the game. It will go down as one of the hardest but best performances our team has ever pulled off.
[Ryan McGovern is completing a Business Degree with Sports Management in the Limerick Institute of Technology.]