'My message from when I started on May 1st was that we were going to be playing on March 17th... we got up until March 12th.'
t is like a sports film script with the final pages missing. A David vs Goliath tale that ends just as the stone leaves the sling, with no way of knowing if it will ever hit its target.
Newbridge were days away from discovering whether their fairy tale season would have the dream ending - at senior and junior level. Perspective sunk in quickly and has grown since. There are far more important things happening in the world as countries fight against Covid-19 than an unplayed schools cup final.
But that doesn't mean there isn't acute disappointment for the players who were meant to be involved in the first all-Kildare senior final on St Patrick's Day. One thing that makes schools competitions so compelling is their finite nature; for most players involved in a senior cup decider, it is their one and only chance.
Hence why for the majority, there can be no refixed game in the autumn or in 2021.
A messy rescheduled Leaving Cert beckons. Then the college year. And whatever else happens along the way.
Things might be different for the Newbridge junior team, who could face Blackrock College in a refixed final as the participants will all still be in school.
But as it stands, in years to come when people look at the entry beside 2020 on the Leinster Schools Senior Cup roll of honour, it will likely say that two near neighbours in Kildare shared the trophy.
Newbridge and Clongowes, co-champions. Social distancing being what it is, there will be no moment like after the drawn 2017 Lions test series in New Zealand when skippers Sam Warburton and Kieran Read raised an arm of the cup each.
Although, maybe Newbridge captain Marcus Kiely and his Clongowes counterpart Calum Dowling could have a Zoom call to bond over their unique place in history; their mothers could even make a cameo with the hat they would have worn to the RDS.
The final has not yet been officially cancelled, but Newbridge head coach Johne Murphy says that they are resigned to the fact that with so many moving parts elsewhere, other things must take precedence.
"I went into school the day things shut on the Thursday [March 12], and we were five days out from the Tuesday [the final]," Murphy says.
"There was still hope that there might have been a behind closed doors game on the Tuesday with just players and parents. When it escalated so quickly, there was a very clear understanding among the lads that there were a lot more serious things going on than our game. The disappointment is going to be there for a long time but it is not in any way the most important thing."
"It would be great if we could play the game in September/October, in accordance with HSE guidelines, but I don't think that is a possibility," Murphy adds.
"Regardless of what the two squads would like to happen, logistically, I don't think it's possible.
"In reality, I think everyone has come to terms with it; it's not going to be played.
"As disappointing as that is, it doesn't really matter when you consider what is happening in society."
What magnifies the sense of unfinished business is that Newbridge were arriving into the final after one of the all-time great cup shocks. Defending champions St Michael's, featuring future academy candidates in prop Jack Boyle, back row Will Hickey and versatile back Chris Cosgrave, were billed as an unbeatable dream team like Leo Cullen's 1996 Blackrock side or the 2009 version featuring Andrew Conway and Jordi Murphy.
A combined winning margin of 101-3 over Temple Carraig and Gonzaga made a semi-final sweep of Newbridge seem a formality; even more so when they raced into a 14-3 half-time lead.
But former Munster wing Murphy, in his first season in charge of the senior team, could at least look back on their opening wins over CBC Monkstown (45-7) and Kilkenny (10-8) for hope, where they didn't concede a point in the second half, scoring 41 themselves.
Betting on schools rugby was knocked on its head after 2015, but Murphy would have taken long odds on Newbridge at half-time if they were on offer.
"People might think this is crazy, but going two scores down maybe gave us a better chance," Murphy says.
"There was no pressure on us anymore. The turning point in the game for me was just before the half-time whistle, the ball was in play for over four minutes. We made a linebreak and should have scored but the lads came to me energised at half time.
"They weren't mentally drained or physically drained. I could see it in their eyes, they thought they could do it. Even though they didn't get any reward from that moment, they realised if they kept building that pressure, something had to give."
What unfolded was one of the most thrilling 35 minutes of rugby in the competition's history, kick-started when scrum-half Cormac King finished off an incisive move started by out-half Sam Prendergast, with centre Lucas Berti Newman the middleman.
The sides swapped penalties before Newbridge wing Donal Conroy decided to catch a high ball in traffic on halfway, pinball through a maze of defenders and set the Donnybrook land speed record en route to the corner.
"I was watching the game high up in the stand and when he scored that try, there was a sense in the crowd that 'these boys might do it', which fed into the whole atmosphere," Murphy says.
For St Michael's, a familiar sinking feeling must have been setting in. The 2020 vintage join a host of St Michael's squads over the last ten years who despite boasting stellar underage talent, will remember their cup campaigns like a Vietnam War flashback.
To Emmet McMahon's side's credit, they fought back to take the lead before another surge from Newbridge saw wing David O'Sullivan dot down in the left corner to snatch victory.
Murphy couldn't help but refer back to his half-time feeling as he reflects on what his side achieved in securing a mammoth upset in a cup campaign that will always be remembered.
"All season long, I tried to get through to them that pressure is pressure. Even if you don't get something out of it right away, if you keep building, eventually they will crack. It might take a full 70 minutes, but you have to believe that.
"The issue for St Michael's is that they are so good that they don't get pressurised as much as others teams, with the game being in the melting pot at the end. They are the peak of the mountain. To me, they were the best side in the cup. There is no doubt about that.
"That is why sport is so enthralling, and why we are missing it so much - the best side doesn't always win."