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Red-hot O'Curry was a magic ingredient

IF this season's minor metros are seeking inspiration, they should look no further than last year's cultured crop.

They lost the 2011 All-Ireland minor final. But they returned to Birr last August to lift the prize.

Character formed their backbone. Fintan O'Curry was their good shepherd since they were under-12.

People in the game say that Fintan is a genius of a manager. The welfare of the players is his major concern. There was an impressive quality in the group. They all gelled well together -- players and Fintan's management colleagues, Gerry Barrett, Ken Murphy, Shirley McDonagh, Judy Murphy, John Caffrey and Robbie Burke.

Forwards thought nothing of retreating to deep defence to clear out the dishwasher. Emma McDonagh was the captain of the ship -- an inspirational figure. Over the years, Dublin have gone close to minor championship success.

Yet their only previous crown came in 2008 under Dave Cullen and co.

In 2012, the Dubs beat Tyrone again in the final. They had to show resolve to do it. There were no fears on that score -- they had bundles of it built up in the locker.

Tyrone led by 1-5 to 0-1 after 15 minutes. The Blues stormed back to hit the next 10 scores without reply. They endured a late Tyrone rally to prevail by two points.

Fintan O'Curry, the Bard of Ballinteer, was made a freeman of the city.

He's everything a manager should be. And he gave those players memories they'll be sharing with their grandchildren.