MANY expected an epic final to be served up in Dr.Cullen Park last Sunday but instead we were handed an interesting affair and were shown an Eire Og team that could be around for some time to come.
There is already talk of a potential Leinster final appearance for the Carlow club but those in the know in Pairc Ui Bhrian will be keeping that private and confidential until they get there.
The champions kicked some brilliant scores throughout the hour and are deserving champions but Palatine will have to feel that they just didn't show up.
The Cnoc Arda men never lead in the final and up front they just didn't click with no forward scoring from play and supply to the same men rapidly dried up.
In the second half they would only score once and that was a Brian Kelly free in the first minute as the Pal men then failed to score for 29 minutes but they had stand out performers in Craig Kearney, John Reid, Aidan Murphy and Dermot McDonald.
The first half ended 7-4 and Eire Og were playing some lovely football from the word go. Derek Hayden finally looks like a natural centre back having taken a couple of games to really get used to the role but having a player with that speed and power driving on to the ball into attack is a huge asset and if the centre forward doesn't follow him he will do untold damage.
Elsewhere in the first half things threatened to boil over with late challenges from both sides littering the game although there was no real dirt to report. There was a free blown after four seconds and it was a sign of things to come with six of the 11 first half points coming from frees.
Murtagh Ware got the scoring started with a beautiful point in the first minute after a poor Palatine defensive clearance. The legendary Brian Kelly then pointed a free to level matters but Eric McCormack and the exceptional Ber Hennessy made it 3-1 to Eire Og.
Palatine were doing their utmost to create chances but the Eire Og defence seemed wise to their every move until Aidan Murphy crept forward and after taking a second to steady himself popped a lovely point over the bar with his left foot.
McCormack also had a fine game for the winners and he converted a 45 after Craig Kearney, who has been the discovery of the championship for Palatine in the goal had spurned an Eire Og goal opportunity.
With just over 10 minutes on the clock Derek Hayden flew forward and kicked a point into the scoreboard end when it seemed like he was in mid air striking it.
Kearney and McDonald combined to deny a certain goal minutes later and Brian Kelly added a free to keep Pal in touch with their opponents. McCormack tapped over a close range free but Brian Kelly curled over a huge long range free to make it 6-4.
John Reid has had the summer of his life in footballing terms and he has the most ridiculous ability to run with the ball continuously into space to create and score chances for Palatine.
It looked like he was going to be one-on one with Robbie Moore in the goal and the form he's in, there's no way he'd have missed but Derek Hayden made a tremendous effort to get back and just do enough to put the forward off and the chance went a begging.
In the 33rd minute of the first half Eire Og managed a point from the most unlikely of sources and Alan 'Skippy' Callinan sneaked forward and from an impossible angle in front of the left bank Eire Og support he squeezed over a point and the sides rested 7-4.
The second half never really took off despite its promise to do so and by the end Eire Og were afforded the opportunity to run in the subs with the result in no doubt.
Palatine's final score came in the first minute and Brian Kelly pointed a free from 30m but as previously said it would be the last chance he would get as the supply completely dried up.
Bryan Carbery responded for Eire Og with his first excellent point of three but he was completely shadowed by McCormack who kicked the point of the day from the stand side shooting into the O'Hanrahan's end.
Any defender would have been happy to let a forward shoot from the range he was at, and the angle making it all the harder, but he drove it over in fine style.
Ware and Carbery then added three points between them and Eire Og had a seven point lead.
Despite there still being 15 minutes left to play only three more scores would result and they came from the boot of man of the match winner Ber Hennessy as he kicked three frees to finish off his teams tally of 15 points.
With Charlie Ellis' running commentary, Eire Og ran in the subs and Jordan Lowry, Tommy Dowling, Darragh O'Brien, Simon Rea and the nicest touch of all, Michael Hennessy all came on for the final moments.
Palatine tried to surge with Alan Cullen coming into the fray along with Joe Byrne, Pat Cushen, Tomas Kenny and Gavin Farrell but Eire Og were superior and will take some stopping in Leinster.
Although the game had threatened to boil over several times there was only one incident which lead to red cards. John Reid and Alan O'Brien clashed and both men were given their marching orders but in a nice touch they shook hands as they left the field, sportsmanship winning out on that occasion.