Michelle Ryan scored a hat-trick against Cavan on Sunday. Photo: Inpho.
Lidl Ladies Football National League Semi-final: Reaction – Michelle Ryan
Player of the match Michelle Ryan had to jog her memory to recall her last hat-trick.
“I think the last time I got 3-3 I was playing a primary school nine a side down in Walsh Park when I was very, very young! It’s been a while!”
Her second three pointer, the one that looped over goalkeeper Elaine Walsh, was the turning point of this semi final. It started a Déise goal spree. “Once we got the goal in the second half, it gave us the impetus to drive on. We tacked on a few more goals after that. I’m just glad that we capitalised on the chances we got today. We wouldn’t have been entirely happy with our last performance against Cavan despite the difficult conditions. Both teams have done a lot of tweaking since then and we’re happy that those things came off for us today.”
She is glad that she signed up for season nineteen. “This is the type of game and the type of weather that you love playing in. The winter weather and the winter training, it’s tough going but when you get to this stage of the year, with a panel as united as we are, you want to be playing in the big games.”
Ryan thanked the dedicated Déise supporters who travelled all the way to Banagher, including her own family members, before she returned to the winning dressing room. “I have to say that the ladies football diehard supporters are just incredible. We’ve some people who travel all over the country no matter where these matches are on. We owe a huge debt to our families and our really close friends; they see the sacrifices that we put in every week and every year. It’s not an easy thing to do but they’re behind us the whole way. They’re here on the good days and they’re here on the bad days.”
The vastly experienced forward was part of the Waterford panel that won a Division 1 title against Mayo back in 2002. She has featured in five Division 3 finals, eventually getting over the line in 2016 against Tipperary. Now, she will get to taste a Division 2 final for the first time.