Colin O'Riordan struggled to contain his emotions after helping Tipperary to an historic Munster SFC success.
Aussie Rules star O'Riordan was a late inclusion in the Premier County’s starting line-up, having been granted permission by Sydney Swans to play against Cork.
It was O’Riordan’s first appearance for Tipperary since 2015 and he gave an exhibition of high fielding as they claimed a 0-17 to 0-14 victory at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
"Given it your all for the sake of Tipperary - I can't put it into words - it's the best feeling" @TipperaryGAA AFL star Colin O'Riordan on a great day for the Premier County #rtegaa pic.twitter.com/SwxpRjD198— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) November 22, 2020
Speaking to RTÉ, O’Riordan said: "It’s an emotional day for me. A few weeks ago I didn’t think I’d be here.
"Just to be out there with the lads, giving your all for the sake of Tipperary, I can’t put it into words. It’s the best feeling I’ve had in many years.
"It just fills me with pride. I get emotional even thinking about it. It’s one of the best days of my life. I’m over the moon.
"Putting on the Tipp jersey is something I’ll never take for granted. It’s something I’ll always respect, that I had the opportunity to wear the jersey.
"I’m extremely thankful to Sydney Swans for allowing me to play this game. They were 100% in their rights to say no and refuse me permission to play. They’re an incredible organisation."
Tipperary captain Conor Sweeney produced a man-of-the-match performance, pointing in the first minute as he top-scored with 0-07.
With Tipperary wearing the white and green of Grangemockler to mark the centenary of Bloody Sunday, Sweeney knew it was important not to get caught up in the history and emotion during the build-up to the game.
Sweeney said: "I made sure from two weeks ago. I had a word with the boys at the first training session back, just to re-emphasise what was really important to us as players, and that was the match.
"It’s an emotional year and you don’t want to be too disrespectful but as a player you need to park everything that’s gone on - the new jersey, the emotion with it, what happened 100 years ago.
"It’s fantastic to be part of today but first and foremost we had a job to do. Only now can we reflect on the history of it all, which will we do over the next day or so."
"Huge day, 85 years waiting... I'm ready to cry to be honest with you"— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) November 22, 2020
An emotional Tipp boss David Power speaks to @LawlorDamian after his side's Munster SFC final win #RTEGAA pic.twitter.com/uNo6QZWEDX
Tipperary were on top throughout but the game remained in the balance right up until the finish as Cork remained within one score of their opponents.
"We just took it in quarters," said Sweeney. "We wanted to start the game with really high intensity because that’s what they brought two weeks ago against Kerry. We knew we’d have to match that.
"After that it was getting to the first water break, then getting to half-time, the second water break and seeing it out.
"I thought we were the better team on the day. We got the first score after half-time and then had a goal chance that hit the crossbar.
"If that goes in I think we’d have put the game to bed a bit earlier. It wasn’t to be but we stuck at it.
"We could have let that game slip in previous years but not today."