IT'S been a long road for Fingal keeper, Hillary Murray Hession.
Former team-mates Pat Keogh and Leonard O'Carroll minded the line alongside manager, Tommy Naughton, as the Malahide club topped their 2009 Junior A championship on Saturday. It was his third final appearance but that didn't ease the nerves one bit. 'No matter how many games you have played or no matter how many years you are at it, when you get up in the morning there is an extra bit of edge in your step and some of that would be down to nerves. 'But no more than any of the 14 or 15 on the team you get strength from what you have learned through the years.' It was a very emotional day for the club.
Tim Stack who had guided Sylvester's through its hurling infancy along with the likes of Danny O'Connor has now passed on, as has Dougie Ormonde, father of Syls forward, Martin. It was Dougie's month's mind on Saturday. Undoubtedly both were looking down on proceedings on Saturday in a game that went right to the wire. As a former Dublin manager Tommy Naughton knows every blade of grass on the Parnell Park surface at this stage and he was immensely proud of his charges. 'We went behind but showed unbelievable courage.
Round Towers had the momentum but the way the lads dug in was unbelievable 'But I'm not surprised by today's success because they have the hurlers and the only reason they are up is because they have the hurlers. 'And it's up to both ourselves and Round Towers to make what they can of it now. We are up in senior now and the whole thing is to try and get the team out of Division 3.' And for Hession-Murray who played his first final with the club in 1992, the start was the key. 'We got a great start with that 1-7 to 0-2 lead at half time and we would have taken that at the start of the year or start of the game 'Our aim was to beat Towers on the scoreboard again in the second half. It didn't happen that way but the win is hugely satisfying.' 'For all the people in Malahide and in Sylvesters this is a fantastic victory. We have a hurling wall going up in the next few weeks so we are on a bounce at the moment. Next year is going to be harder and faster but the important thing is getting there.'