It was all about finally getting an All Ireland medal for Fermanagh’s experienced Aisling Woods on Sunday as Fermanagh saw off Derry at the second attempt to clinch the All Ireland Junior Championship crown.
Woods has known disappointment before on the football pitch but Fermanagh were not to be denied this time around as they finished up deserving four point victors.
“We’ve been knocking on the door for loo long and thankfully today our hard work has paid off and we have got the win.
“Words can’t even describe what it feels like to have won. I’m playing county football now 14 years and it is the best feeling ever. There have been days when we have been standing here crying but today we got over the line and I could not be happier. To lift the trophy with a great bunch of girls and a great management is just unreal.,” said Aisling.
Woods was one of a number of experienced Fermanagh players who were to the fore in the second half as the Erne outfit finally saw off Derry to secure the victory and she says that they learnt their lessons from the drawn game at Croke Park.
“After being in Croke Park we knew what we had to do in the replay. Those two weeks of training have been tough but we did our homework on them and from start to finish we never gave up,” she said.
Fermanagh had built up a good cushion on a couple of occasions in the game only for Derry to claw their way back and although Aisling knew that Derry would be hard to shake off, she felt that Fermanagh’s focus right from the off was the key to the victory.
“We knew we would never get it easy and they kept coming back at us but everybody was switched on from the word go. We had two sin bins but that is when everybody really dug deep and worked as a team. We had to re-group and everybody was communicating about who was coming through and that really paid off. I think the last day in Croke Park we were too quiet as a team,” said the Brookeboro player.
And Aisling believes that Fermanagh’s character and refusal to be beaten saw them to the win when the game was in the melting pot.
“That was the biggest thing. In Croke Park we were down by nine points and we kept digging deep. That’s the thing about this team, if we go behind we will always keep battling and when they started to come back into it we knew we had to up our game. 
“Thankfully we had the legs and we had the fitness and that brought us over the line,” she added.
This is a Fermanagh team that have progressed and blended into a formidable outfit over the course of the season and Aisling states that it is a squad with a real sense of togetherness.
“Every girl gets on, there are no cliques or anything like that, it’s brilliant to see. 
“You have those girls coming up who are 15 or 16 years old with bags of potential and then you have the more experienced players so it is a great blend and we’re just delighted to have won,” she concluded.