Henry Shefflin's thoughts turned to his brother Paul after John Donnelly scored a late equalising goal for Kilkenny in their Leinster Hurling Championship game against Galway on Sunday afternoon. Paul Shefflin tragically died in early March while he was out running. He was only 41.
Despite Donnelly's score, which came with three minutes of injury time elapsed, Galway still got the win thanks to last gasp free by Conor Cooney.
"I was probably thinking about my brother," Galway manager Shefflin told RTÉ Radio One's Sunday Sport about what was going through his mind after the goal.
"It's been a very trying time for my family. That's what I was thinking about. I was just thinking about him.
"It was just such an emotional moment in the whole game. That's what came to mind, my own parents, and [Paul's wife] Aoife and the children back home.
"At the end of the day, this is a game, it's a sport. We absolutely love it. We enjoy it. We play it for moments like this when you get a big win."
Shefflin also mentioned Galway player TJ Brennan whose girlfriend Kate Moran tragically died last month following an incident in a camogie game. Brennan came on as a substitute against Kilkenny.
"It's highs and lows but at the same time, myself, and everyone inside in that dressing room... Obviously TJ Brennan has lost his girlfriend, and the Moran family tragically [lost] Kate Moran," said Shefflin.
The match was billed as Shefflin versus his former Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. The two shared a frosty handshake at full time. Shefflin admitted that facing Kilkenny as manager of the opposing team was somewhat strange.
"I went for a spin yesterday with Deirdre, and I passed Eoin Cody's house, Adrian Mullen's house, and TJ Reid's house," he said.
"It was probably a little bit unique in that. Only the in the last few days, after playing Westmeath, the focus turned to this game.
"It's easier when you're on the field of play than sitting on the sideline! It was a titanic tussle.
"We knew there wasn't going to be much between the teams. Little did we think it was going to be the last puck of the ball. That was the way it worked out.
"I thought we worked extremely hard but the shooting let us down a little but. We ended up with just over 55 per cent [success rate]. We probably created a couple of goal chances, and could have given it to a man in a better position."
Featured image: 1 May 2022; Galway manager Henry Shefflin during the Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 3 match between Galway and Kilkenny at Pearse Stadium in Galway. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile