St Loman's crave greater consistency
St Loman's v Simonstown TEG Cusack Pk, Tomorrow 2.0
For the footballers of St Loman's, it was like winning the lottery and a scratch card jackpot all on the same day.
After 47 minutes of their AIB Leinster club SFC quarter-final, the Mullingar men were six down and all but eliminated - for a second year running - by Mullinalaghta.
Twenty minutes later, as they celebrated a rousing escape to victory, news filtered through that St Vincent's, the 1/4 favourites to retain their provincial crown, were out.
"A few people started saying 'Oh, Vincent's have been beaten' because it is a big deal - no more so than when Dublin are going to be beaten, when that happens it will be a big deal as well," accepted John Heslin, the Loman's skipper and talisman.
"But for ourselves within that dressing-room, we had to say well done, we were congratulating each other on our victory to come from behind, away from home, and beat a team that beat us last year.
"And for us it doesn't matter who was left in the championship. If we want to go on and do something, then we've to beat the team that is in front of us. The more important result for us was hearing that Simonstown came through because that was our next game."
Heslin's two monster frees and penalty were key to the comeback; the Westmeath ace instead highlighted the impact of Luke Dempsey's bench as the real catalyst.
But it was still a very scratchy performance and they'll need a more consistent hour to justify favouritism at home to Colm O'Rourke's back-to-back Meath champions, who coasted past Starlights in the last round.
ODDS: Loman's 4/7 Draw 7/1 Simons'n 15/8
VERDICT: St Loman's