THE proudest of days for Templeogue United -- their first National title.
What a gala performance they put on at Jackson Park last Saturday lunchtime to lift the SFAI U-11 Menton-Seery Cup.
The pre-match predictions suggested a close one. Last season the teams had met three times -- a win each and a draw.
But Templeogue were three-up at half-time. The hard work was done. But they kept on doing it. That was the key to glory.
The Orchard tried to get an early second-half goal. Had they done so, it could have changed the climate.
But United kept making the tackles. Their tackling was superb all over the pitch. And they were prepared to put their bodies in the way, just like the brave Darragh Corcoran did early on the restart.
Templeogue played cultured football. There was always the look-up in possession, and the simple pass was not ignored.
Stephen Kinsella gave the Ballyfermot boys an ocean of problems with his surging runs. He attracted much praise from the sideline - so did the Templeogue finishing.
The opening goal came in the 13th minute. Templeogue were defending the club house end.
Way out on the right, Jake Reddy curled in a delicious pass which saw Darragh Gibbons guide to the onion sack from just outside the six-yard box.
Orchard were nearly level, eight minutes later, when Jamie Aherne's deflected drive looked to be dipping into the basket, only for the back-peddling Conor Kearns to pluck the ball from the clouds. It was a crucial save.
United's second came direct from the training ground - a corner on the right. Kinsella played it short to Conor Crowley, took the return, moved on a couple of yards and cracked a delightful left-footer to the roof.
Number three came in first-half injury time. Crowley released Eoin Stokes, who was composure itself.
Templeogue could have won by more. Orchard's excellent 'keeper, Jake Carey, made at least three first-class saves, while Conor Davis (twice), Crowley (twice) and Gibbons also weren't far away in the second period.
It was King Kinsella who created the fourth on the hour. A storming run down the left, a clever, little pass inside to allow the classy Crowley pick his spot.
On the final whistle, the Orchard were quickly over to offer their congratulations. In the wonderful world of schoolboy football, new stars had been born.
Templeogue United: Conor Kearns; Jake Reddy, Shane Hanney, Darragh Corcoran, Adam White, Stephen Kinsella, Eoin Stokes, Ieuan Hopkins, Rory Collins, Conor Crowley, Darragh Gibbons. Conor Davis, Daragh Murphy, Stephen Cook.
Cherry Orchard: Jake Carey; John Ross Wilson, Keane Cully, Sean Tunney, Conor Kane, Wilo McAdams, Andy O'Reilly, Ronnie Ntumba, Sean Whelan, Jamie Aherne, Gavin O'Toole. Josh Ukeke, Sean Quinn, Cian Collins, Terry Wilson, Aaron O'Driscoll.
Referee: Philip Brennan. Assistants: L Wells, B Coleman, J Dowling.