IF ever a run has galvanised a club, surely it was Kilcormac/Killoughey's ultimately disappointing, but highly eventful journey to this year's AIB All-Ireland club SHC final on St Patrick's Day.
It came on the back of their first Offaly senior hurling title, yet here they are, back in the decider while their Intermediate team have also qualified for their final, and their Junior As narrowly-beaten semi-finalists at their level.
As ever, Ger Healion and Ciarán Slevin remain foremost to their chances but Daniel Currams is back also, having broken his arm in the preamble to their All-Ireland club loss to St Thomas.
It was a cruel turn of luck which they fully believe cost them national honours.
Birr, meanwhile, haven't won an Offaly title since 1998.
That's hardly a famine, but it is their longest spell without a county senior title since the 20 barren years they endured between 1971 and 1991.
This is a new Birr side, however, with Rory Hanniffy and Barry Whelahan the only playing links to their glorious recent past, although Johnny Pilkington's (pictured above) presence as manager does add a dab of mid-90s Offaly magic to the setup.
All told though, Kilcormac/ Killoughey are justifiable favourites here.
ODDS SLASHED ON A SLASHERS VICTORY
LONGFORD SFC FINAL
LONGFORD SLASHERS v DROMARD
(Pearse Park, Tomorrow, 3.30)
THIS is the ninth season in-a-row that one or other of these clubs has contested the Connolly Cup final and Slashers would, were it not for Killoe last year, be on for a three-in-a-row.
They got their revenge in the quarter-finals this year and appear better placed to capture a 16th title in all.
ODDS: Slashers 8/15, Draw 7/1, Dromard 11/8 VERDICT: Slashers
BY CONOR McKEON