After a challenge match against St. Pat’s of Tullow ahead of the championship, Pado Flynn went to the Cave Bar in Kilkenny – his local as a Muckalee man – and thought at that moment Palatine could win the county championship.
Flash forward to this past Sunday and Palatine manager Flynn was the one with the biggest of grins on the sidelines of Netwatch Cullen Park as the club’s senior footballers held their nerve against a Tinryland comeback, down to 14 men, and finished their championship campaign with a two-point win over their near-neighbours to claim the Nationalist Cup for the first time in six years and their sixth in the senior ranks.
“Last April when we went out to Jenkinstown Woods, there were 20-odd fellas that ran up and down with the army manoeuvre guys, they believed in each other”, Flynn told KCLR in the wake of Sunday’s county final victory.
“Those guys, I don’t think, don’t get the credit they deserve. Palatine’s a wonderful club. I’m so, so proud to be part of that club now having won that county title. They stand for everything that’s good in GAA, their members are absolutely outstanding, and they believe in the principles of attacking, hard-hitting football.”
We had 39 lads togged out (on Sunday). The hard work that they put in earlier in the year when we had injuries and all that, it’s phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal. Into the Leinster championships, that’s some place to be. It’s brilliant to see what it means to them and the people of Palatine.”
“We played a challenge match against St. Pats of Tullow two or three weeks before the championship. I went back to my local pub that night, was sitting at the counter talking to a few friends of mine. I actually said to them ‘I think we can win the county final if we get over ‘Rangers.”
“It’s just brilliant”, he continued. “After being through Covid for the last few years, we’ll celebrate this and enjoy every minute of it. That’s what playing football is all about. It’s about enjoy each other’s company, enjoying the game, playing it on the front foot. Football isn’t about computers, football’s not about stats, football’s not about videos or analysis. It’s about playing with your heart, playing what you’re good at that’s why we’re county champions.”