When Slaughtneil were swatted aside by Corofin in the final two years ago, few thought they would be back in Croke Park in the foreseeable future.
Deep slumps have hit clubs before after big defeats in the final, but not Slaughtneil who return to Croke Park today with the lessons from 2015 stored carefully for when Dr Crokes power up momentum.
The Killarney side coped comfortably with Corofin in the semi-final, underlining the extent of the challenge which awaits Slaughtneil.
However, they insist they are much more battle-hardened than in 2015. "What happened against Corofin might have crippled many teams but it galvanised us. That says a lot about our spirit," said captain, Chrissy McKaigue.
He is likely to be assigned to mark 'Gooch' Cooper, who has electrified Croke Park so often in a Kerry jersey. However, it was Kieran O'Leary (0-5 from open play) and Daithi Casey who shone brightest in the win over Corofin on a day when Dr Crokes looked the real deal.
'Gooch' was mascot when they last won the title 25 year ago but this time he will play a more active role, one that just might steer Dr Crokes to glory. Verdict: Dr Crokes