Gillespie savouring second shot at provincial glory
COUNTY midfielder Conor Gillespie, who received the Man of the Match award for his display in Summerhill's senior title win, was looking ahead to even bigger fish shortly after the final whistle at Pairc Tailteann.
The Meath champions now await the winners of Newtown Blues and Tullamore who clash in the opening round of the Leinster Club Championship in Drogheda this Sunday.
'This is our second win in three years, so the first time we got into Leinster it would have been a case that we were just so happy to win our first championship in 25 years and maybe we didn't have the same focus for Leinster, I can admit that,' Gillespie said.
'This time we have three weeks. We'll obviously celebrate this week, but hopefully we can get the minds focused and we'll give Leinster a good go this time.
'It was more so that we just couldn't get the mindset right after winning the county championship. You kind of reach your Everest and you don't have the same expectation of winning Leinster. It definitely helps to be winning the county title for a second time. It gives you a bit more confidence and hopefully we can give a better show this time.'
Meath clubs have a dreadful record in the club championship, but ironically Summerhill were the first team from the county to win the title since its inception in 1970/71, following a final success over Dublin kingpins St Vincent's in the 1977/78 campaign on a scoreline of 5-4 to 0-6.
Reflecting on the victory over Na Fianna, the 24-year-old said: 'I think coming into the game it was never going to be anything but a tight game. Once they got it back to three or four they got their dander up and it was a real battle then until the end.
'I think the little bit of experience stood to us. We had two finals two years ago, including a replay, and it was a very similar situation.
'It definitely makes it extra special to beat your neighbouring club. A win in the championship is brilliant no matter who you're playing, but it's the thoughts of losing to your local rivals that would be a killer. It's unbelievable to win today.'