SAINT PATRICK'S players, mentors and followers packed into the clubhouse on Sunday night to celebrate their win in the county football final earlier in the day.
Over the years they have found it next to impossible to beat Baltinglass in a final - they had only ever achieved it once before- and that made this victory extra specially for the club and the players.
This was one of the best football finals in years and Baltinglass took the result right down to the wire, the outcome influenced at the finish by the awarding of a free against goalie John Flynn following a great save from a Tommy Kelly free.
Irrespective of the final outcome both teams deserved full credit for the quality of football they served up; it was not just befitting the final but also lit up a championship that has given us so little sparkle up to the decider.
The Saints are our new county champions, our standard bearers in Leinster and so a huge responsibility now rests on their shoulders to represent the county with pride and commitment in the Leinster Club championship in the coming weeks.
Since 2003 no Wicklow team has succeeded in getting beyond the first round of the Leinster competition whereas Baltinglass and Rathnew both won provincial titles with the Slaneysiders going on to become All-Ireland Club champions in 1990.
St. Patrick's won the Miley Cup in 2004 and 2006 but then exited Leinster at the first hurdle after being beaten by Kilmacud Crokes of Dublin and Moorefield of Kildare.
We are hopeful that the Wicklow town men will fare much better this time. They could hardly have asked for a better draw with three home matches on the road to the Leinster final.
They will open their Leinster club campaign on October 28 with a home match against Carlow and should they win that they will be hosts in the quarter-final to the Laois champions - most probably Portlaoise, who were given a fright by Rathnew in 2011.
This coming weekend the focus reverts to hurling with the two semi-finals down for decision - Avondale v. champions Glenealy; and Bray Emmets v. league champions Carnew, with both champions fancied to advance to the final.