AT 35 Mark Stanfield has had plenty of highs and lows at club and county level over the years, but not much has given him more pleasure than the road to the Leinster Club Intermediate Championship Final.
O'Connell's had seven different scorers when defeating Emo of Laois away from home the last day, and the veteran forward became his side's ninth player to hit the target when snatching the winning point in fading light at The Grove on Sunday afternoon.
The spread of scorers shows that O'Connell's aren't too reliant on one man and Stanfield was quick to pay tribute to all 19 players who saw action for their staying power, defying a Na Fianna side who looked at one stage to be on their way to
'From 1 to 15 today the lads were brilliant,' he enthused. 'They defended brilliantly and the three or four subs who came on were fantastic.
'For such a club to get the place looking so good and for everything to come out so well for us was just unbelievable and we're just in dreamland at the minute. Everything is a bonus now and to get to a Leinster final is unbelievable for a small club like ourselves. It's a huge achievement.'
Asked about O'Connell's flying start, Stanfield said: 'The first 10 or 15 minutes we started great and we were eight points up at one stage, and then we just took our foot off the gas. They got a slippy goal and then a point straight after and the momentum swung to them.
'But we said at half-time, if somebody said before the game would you be happy with a two-point lead at the break, we would have taken it. We said give it a lash and see what happens.
'We were reduced to 14 men and I thought the sending-off was a bit harsh. I'm not blaming the referee - he had an okay of a game - but a couple of decisions went their way a wee bit and our boys seemed to get a bit frustrated.
'But look, these are great lads and the fighting spirit in them is unbelievable. It's incredible.'
Stanfield was somehow denied a third O'Connell's goal as the clock ticked down towards 60 minutes, but crucially he was handed one more chance.
'The one before that got cleared off the line, I thought it was in. It was inches from the line and it just got away, but I said if I got one more chance I would stick it over the bar maybe and win the game.
' With that last shot, I thought it was going wide. I wasn't going for goal or a point, I just swung the left foot at it because I knew anything would win the game.
'This is right up there with anything in the past. Something I've always wanted to do play in a final with my club and win it, and I did that in the Intermediate Championship which for me was great.
'Anything after that was a bonus and to get to the Leinster final - I dreamed of it playing in my Louth days - but to do it with the club is just unbelievable.'