The appeal was lodged by Wexford after their one-point loss to Galway on the basis of their belief they had a point that was not awarded due to referee Cathal Egan overruling his umpires, and Egan played in excess of two minutes more than the minimum four of injury-time he had signalled.
It was at the very end of injury-time Galway snatched the winner thanks to a nerveless Niamh McGrath strike from a ‘45’ The appeal was heard 12 days after the semi-final but Ward and his players remained focussed on the impending clash with Cork on September 13.
“We never actually got involved in it” said Ward at headquarters yesterday. “We just kept it away. It was never mentioned in training. We just went ahead, getting ready for the September 13. That was our aim once the final whistle went and we never changed our focus from that. We kept going ahead with our preparations down in Galway, our fundraising, the whole lot. We never let it be an issue. So it wasn’t a case of a sigh of relief when a decision was made or anything.”
Much has been made this year of the significant turnover within the Cork squad, with a catalogue of All-Ireland winners unavailable due to retirement and other commitments, including Jenny O’Leary, Anna Geary, Angela Walsh and Joanne O’Callaghan.
But Galway have had the depth of talent within their county tested too in recent years, with the likes of Therese Maher, Brenda Hanney, Ann Marie Hayes and Noreen Coen finishing up.
This season, cruciate ligament injures have ruled out Clodagh McGrath and her aunt, Emma Kilkelly, while Ann Marie Starr is sidelined by a broken bone in her upper arm.
Galway have come out on top in two clashes between the teams this year, surviving a Rebel onslaught in the second-half to win the league final by three points before coming late themselves to edge their championship opener by the minimum.
“All we can really worry about is getting our team ready to the best of its ability. We know each other inside-out now. I don’t think it’s going to be any different from the two games we’ve played. The only thing I hope is it’s the same result!