THE bunting was flying up on the Kiltipper Road last Sunday. There was an army of stewards at their start-of-match positions.
There was a little programme. There was a decent crowd on the steps. A good following had travelled from Galway.
From the first pages, they realised they faced a steep climb at the foothills of the Dublin Mountains.
Thomas Davis delivered a first-class display to advance to the Tesco All-Ireland Junior Championship final.
They were far too formidable for Annaghdown, winning handsomely, 2-22 to 0-4.
The pace, movement and fitness of the Dubs was very impressive. There was a real rhythm to their play. Miriam Liston was left half-forward. She was brilliant in the first half. Her feet and hands turned everything to gold.
Her attacking colleague, Ciara McGuigan, earned the Player-of-the-Match award. She was sprinting through doors all afternoon.
Beside her was the timeless guile of Christina McGinty. The game was only two minutes old when the maestro had a goal chance.
Instead of going for the cobwebs, she calmly popped the ball over the bar. Christina knows that there's no better way to stir the tea than an early score.
After 43 minutes, Christina came off to a standing ovation. Her work was done. Little passes here, there and everywhere, and the bonus of three points in the purse.
Niamh Duggan was Annaghdown's most accomplished player. But they found it extremely difficult to create any openings. They might have had more in the kitty. They had seven wides.
Davis' defence was just too solid and when they got the chance, which was often, the Davis defenders broke with menace, setting up yet another pocket of promise.
The captain, Norah Kirby, underlined the point by cracking over one of the best scores of the hour in the 24th minute.
It helped the home side to lead by 0-13 to 0-3 at the turn.
Their opening goal came in the 45th minute from McGuigan, and four minutes from time, Michelle Byrne added the second.
Darkness was beginning to creep in now and it was starting to rain. But there was magic in the air -- the Davis Diamonds will be walking out in an All-Ireland final.
Thomas Davis: Louise Curran; Pauline Casey, Maeve Shiels, Sarah Roche; Katie Fitzhenry, Siobhan McGrath, Norah Kirby (0-1); Olwen Carey (0-1), Carol Dunning; Miriam Liston (0-4), Sinead Deegan (0-4), Amanda Shiels (0-1); Ciara McGuigan (1-5), Christina McGinty-Collins (0-3), Katie Fitzsimons (0-3, 2f). Subs used: Rachel Newell, Debbie Brennan, Michelle Byrne (1-0), Aisling O'Callaghan, Naomi Byrne.