Sheanon: I have belief in myself
Given there were four Dublin panelists in Cuala's starting back six and another two named in midfield, John Sheanon didn't strike as the most obvious candidate to mark one of the players very prominent in any conversation currently about who the most talented hurler in Ireland is.
By the end yesterday, as Cuala slammed over glory points and Ballyea ran out of heart, Sheanon had kept Kelly scoreless and got one himself.
Not that he's stranger to the destructive side of the game, but then Cuala hadn't come up against a hurler of Kelly class.
"The lads will laugh, I wouldn't be the most skilful hurler myself," he laughed afterwards.
"And I'd be the first to hold my hand up, but I've been asked to do that job since the first game, since we played Crokes in Dublin.
"I've no problem doing it, I probably wouldn't get into the team if I didn't do that man-marking job," he added with almost alarming self-abasement.
"It's an incredible team and to be honest, when I was told I was marking Chrissy McKaigue the last day or Tony Kelly today - I have belief in myself.
"He's an incredible hurler, but I got a bit of luck today - he hit the post with his first ball, and he could have scored with his second chance.
"I got lucky but I'm delighted. I was just delighted to get into the team."
In any assessment of the day's form, Sheanon would have made a short-list for Man of the Match.
"Hasn't sunk in yet," he admitted. "It's been a long year, just delighted to get over the line.
"We had a long break after the Leinster final, and it got longer because we gave Slaughtneil that three weeks.
"Ballyea are a serious team but we had serious belief in ourselves. It's relief at the moment but it's incredible, it's great for the club."