McGilly dishes out the praise with St Mary's setting sights on encore
It is said that lightning doesn't strike twice but it might be difficult to persuade St Mary's University College coach Gavin McGilly that this is true.
When his team won the Sigerson Cup against all the odds in 2017, it was hailed as an out of the blue achievement that would not be replicated for some time.
But McGilly's players, unburdened by history and currently scripting a glorious chapter in their university's sporting history, now stand within 60 minutes of once again taking delivery of the blue riband of Higher Education football.
The modest and unassuming McGilly, who steered Moy Tir na nOg to the All-Ireland intermediate club title last year, scarcely had time to digest his team's stunning 0-10 to 0-7 semi-final win over holders UCD on Saturday before turning his attention to the final against UCC.
"Things are happening so quickly you would hardly get time to catch your breath," smiles the Annaghmore clubman. "But it's fantastic to be in another Sigerson Cup final. The players are really up for this challenge and are keen to repeat the feat of two years ago."
Six points from Stephen McConville, a towering effort in midfield from Jarlath Og Burns and Liam Devlin and a solid defence combined to take St Mary's within touching distance of realising another sporting dream.
UCD were held scoreless in the first half and trailed by 0-7 to nil at the interval before Evan O'Carroll and Con O'Callaghan got them back into the picture, but a strong St Mary's burst in the last quarter highlighted by points from McConville and Ryan Coleman proved decisive.
Meanwhile, Kerry and Munster champions Dr Crokes ended Mullinalgahta's dreams of adding the All-Ireland club title to the Longford and Leinster club titles they have already captured by coming out on top in the second All-Ireland club semi-final by 0-18 to 2-7.
Dr Crokes were not unduly handicapped by losing Johnny Buckley to a red card and always looked to have something extra in the tank.