The Erneside captain wasn’t speaking about any of the three Fermanagh players who remarkably exited the action on red cards.
Rather he dedicated the impressive win following final defeats in 2012 and 2014 to Shane Mulholland, a sub in last year’s loss to Longford, who tragically passed away in April.
Their brave performance was the perfect tribute to the Lisbellaw hurler as Fermanagh came from seven down on to secure a five-point win. Declan McGarry’s 2-3 was vital as was the 1-3 contribution of Sean Corrigan.
“Shane Mulholland said this was the Holy Grail for Fermanagh hurling and that’s exactly what it is,” said Fermanagh’s emotional captain as he lifted the cup.
“He would have loved to walk up these steps today, he’d have relished the opportunity. I’d just like to say, this is for him.”
Mulholland looked on last year as Fermanagh came up two points short of Longford despite a desperate late burst of scoring. They were in pole position much earlier this time with a 3-5 to 0-12 half-time lead.
Sligo had started the brighter and soared into a 0-9 to 0-2 lead with all of those scores contributed by free takers Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch and Keith Raymond.
But Corrigan’s 22nd minute goal handed Fermanagh hope and two from McGarry and in the 29th and 35th minutes moved them into an unlikely interval lead.
Six points in a row without response after the restart pushed Fermanagh 3-11 to 0-12 clear. Sligo got it back to a two-point game after Ciarán Brennan’s 58th minute goal and Fermanagh lost John Duffy, Karl Kehoe and David Teague to second-half dismissals actually finished the stronger with three Brian McLaughlin points.
D McGarry (2-3, one free, one 65), S Corrigan (1-3), B McLaughlin (0-5), J Duffy (0-3, one free), C Corrigan and JP McGarry (0-1 each).
K Raymond (0-8, six frees), G O’Kelly-Lynch (0-6, three frees), C Brennan (1-0), G Cadden, G Waldron and N Hyland (0-1 each).
M Curry; D Teague, M Teague, E Mahon; K Kehoe, M Slevin, B Duffy; J Duffy, D Teague; JP McGarry, D McGarry, A Breslin; S Corrigan, B MacLaughlin, C Corrigan.
F Bannon for Mahon (25), D Cullen for Daniel Teague (71).
S Hayes; T Brennan, M Davey, R Redmond; E McGowan, J Kenny, A Morrison; N Hyland, G O’Kelly-Lynch; B McMahon, D Fahy, K Raymond; G Cadden, C Brennan, G Waldron.
P Leonard for Fahy (31), F Keown for Redmond (39), N Cadden for G Cadden (57).
C Cunning (Antrim).