Kilcoo continue to make a mockery of favourites’ tags and bookies’ odds, a superb dismantling of the Dublin and Leinster champions Ballyboden on Saturday earning the first-time Ulster winners a place in the All-Ireland final on January 19.
Half an hour or so after full-time in Mullingar, a round of applause that seemed to go on and on rose up from the losing Garrycastle dressing room. It can only have been for one man, Dessie Dolan, as the Westmeath great pulled the shutters down on a 22-year senior club career in bittersweet circumstances.
"I thought it would be a good thing to follow John Redmond’s words. I thought for my mother’s sake, her gentle soul, for the sake of my own children, I might go out and fight for to save Europe so that we might have the Home Rule in Ireland in the upshot. I came out to fight for a country that doesn’t exist, and now, Willie, mark my words, it never will.”