Crokes celebrate a first Leinster title
Stillorgan club dig deep to earn berth in All-Ireland semi-final
"WE are going to do a Jack Charlton on it," quipped Kilmacud manager, Tommy Doran.
Crokes had just won the Tesco Leinster Intermediate Championship title.
It was time to let the hair down. Time to enjoy the moment. And to breathe in a slice of history.
The Dubliners defeated Sarsfields of Kildare in Kinnegad.
"It was by far our hardest game of the season. No doubt about it," confirmed Tommy.
"Sarsfields are a very good side. They have some serious footballers. They have a lot of experience, and it certainly wasn't easy.
"We had to work hard, but thankfully, at the end, we managed to get over the line. It was a real team effort, from one to fifteen, and also the girls that came on.
"Everybody dug deep. And it was the overall effort that got us the victory."
The Stillorgan captain, Ann-Marie McBarron, agreed.
"The players gave it everything, and it proved just enough in the end.
"It was a tough match, but everybody stood up to the challenge.
"All the girls have put so much into it, and it was a wonderful feeling when the final whistle blew. It's such an honour to be Leinster champions. It's history for the club.
"We have been trying for a long time, and to finally do it is special.
"It was pretty tense near the end. They popped in a goal, but we came through.
"It's been a marvellous season. To win Dublin was terrific and now this is our third victory in Leinster."
Crokes began their march back in May when they beat Clondalkin's Round Tower in their opening round robin game.
They followed that up with wins over Clontarf and St Margaret's. In the county final, the Glenalbyn club overcame Parnell's at Fingallians.
Crokes were compiling big scores along the way, and the pace and precision of their football saw their fan club expand.
Then in Leinster, they had a handsome win against St Helen's of Longford before toppling Simonstown of Meath.
That tussle was the ideal preparation for last Sunday's test. The Royals played some sparkling stuff.
A big crowd looked on from the Páirc De Burca terrace. And they saw the Dubs produce four goals.
Now, they have an All-Ireland semi-final to prepare for.
"It's been a wonderful weekend for Kilmacud Crokes," reflected Tommy, who was in Parnell Park to see the hurlers triumph on Friday night.
"It's great for the club. It keeps the momentum going in all the areas.
"All the sections are doing well - football, hurling, camogie and ladies football.
"In ladies football terms, we are only a young club, so to bring back our first Leinster Championship is fantastic.
"More and more people in the club are now talking about ladies football.
"That wouldn't have happened some time ago.
"Ladies football is a lovely game to watch. It's so pure.
"And it's lovely to see the sport flourishing in the county. The Dublin side had a marvellous run this year, getting to the All-Ireland final and almost winning it."
Sunday was a proud day for John Sheridan, the inspiration of the ladies game at Crokes.
And now the focus is the All-Ireland semi-final.