The long walk to the sideline was greeted by the PA announcing Curtin as the man of the match. Cold comfort.
Ahead by two points and John Mitchel’s inching ever closer to the Brosna goal, Curtin sensed the game slipping from their grasp. He cursed his indiscipline.
Forced to watch from the line as John Mitchel’s substitute Conal McGlade launched a probing delivery into the Brosna danger area, the midfielder, who doubles up as trainer, threw his hands to the sky.
Up went the right paw of corner-back Aaron Cahill, clearing off the goal line to ensure Brosna’s place as the sixth Kerry club to secure the All-Ireland junior football title.
“I’m 34, this is my 18th season in the Brosna shirt and it is some way to top it all,” Curtin beamed at full-time.
“A junior footballer never dreams of playing in Croke Park. The most I ever dreamt of was playing in Austin Stack Park or Fitzgerald Stadium on a warm summer day.
“Kerry teams have a knack of winning up here, we have an innate confidence playing here on the big days. It is just unreal. Football wins games, we showed that in the first-half. You can have all the tactics you want, but football always wins out.
“It was a pleasure to train these lads all year. They trained themselves, they drove the training. If one man wasn’t putting it in, the next man wouldn’t be long in telling him to cop on.”
And what about those dramatic few moments as he watched from outside the white line?
“I got a black card, and with a minute left I thought it was going to go from us. But there was a never-say-die attitude out there.
There are ten sets of brothers on this team, and we are all brothers. It is a family bond. Brosna is a close knit group of players, every man would fight and die for the cause.”
He added: “To be honest, I don’t know why I am holding the man of the match award. Aaron Cahill is over there and I don’t know for the life of me why he didn’t get it.”
“He has been unreal all year, he has remarkable pace and power. There should definitely be a higher calling for that man.”
“The support from the rest of the backs was unreal. Never has a team went ahead by more than four points on us all year. We always seem to hold them to seven, eight points maximum.
“That is all down to the back six, they’ve been excellent. Up front, Adam Barry did it again. He scored seven points from play in the Munster final and since then he has been unmarkable.”