The junior championship comes to an expected conclusion in Sunday’s early, Pairc Tailteann throw in, as prior to a ball being kicked both Ballivor and St Vincent’s would have been tipped as likely kingpins.
The Ardcath side has passed this way before losing in extra time to Dunboyne in 2018 and there will be those who feel that opportunity does not knock twice and that the Saints ship may have sailed.
However it is fair to say that, for this season anyway, Vincent’s have emerged from a tougher route to the decider, something that could stand to them in this tussle.
And they have come through without consistently playing to their best.
In their opener against Moynalty they should have won by more than the two points they were ahead at the finish, then although they ultimately overcame Cortown easily they only displayed their potential in flashes, one of which showcased a superb length of the pitch team goal.
Their tricky third game saw them too physically strong for Slane and in the semi final they beat a Dunsany side who must still be wondering how it happened.
And that’s the thing about Ronan Kearns side if they are not playing well, and that happens often enough to be concerning, they can still grind out a result and in Nigel Hand they have that most prized of assets a reliable free taker whose accuracy percentage from frees is very very high.
Goalkeeper Evan Connor, perceived by many as a weak link, turned out to be the hero against Dunsany and in defenders like Cathal Tallon and Conor Harford they have defenders who love to attack.
Ballivor on the other hand have progressed far more smoothly, although they had to battle to beat Boardsmill, running up decent scores against Carnaross and Clonard before overwhelming St Ultans in the semi final.
Their problems in this game could be more psychological than physical as firstly they may panic if they get ahead and Vincent’s, as they will, refuse to go away, then some of their players may still have a hangover from their hurling setback with Kildalkey.
From having the tantalising prospect of a double dangling in front of them they now know they could easily end up empty handed.
And also there is the plain and simple fact that when the sides clashed in the Tailteann Cup semi final earlier in the season Vincent’s won.
That, at the very least complicates the Ballivor thought process.
They have lost out in two semi finals in recent years so certainly won’t lack anything in motivation.
The one thing that may suit the south county side is Pairc Tailteann’s wide open spaces, Nicky Potterton, Adam Gannon and Kevin McKeon have pace to burn and how the Ardcath defenders will cope with that on a big pitch could determine the outcome.
The feeling here is they will somehow find a way, they have been doing so all season and there’s no reason why Sunday should be any different.
The Vincent’s to edge a tight, and probably low scoring, game.