THIS wasn't in the script. It was supposed to be Castlebar Mitchels' day in Croke Park, the day they finally lifted the Andy Merrigan Cup after defeat in 1994 and again two years ago.
Alas, it was not to be. It seems everyone underestimated Ballyboden St. Enda's, who were magnificent from the very first minute and thoroughly deserved to be crowned All-Ireland senior club football champions today, winning by 2-14 to 0-7.
From once they took the lead with a goal from Colm Basquel - a man with Mayo roots - after just 90 seconds there was no looking back and it took fully 20 minutes for Mitchels to land a score, Neil Douglas with a 45'.
By then, however, the Dublin and Leinster champions had scored a further goal and three points. The second goal, scored by dead-ball specialist Andrew Kerin, came from the penalty spot after Aaron Waters was dragged to the ground by Tom Cunniffe.
At half-time Mitchels were eight points in arrears, 0-3 to 2-5, Douglas and Neil Lydon with the scores for Castlebar.
To stand any chance the Mayo and Connaught champions needed a bright start to the second half, but that's not what happened. Instead Ballyboden came roaring out of the blocks, scoring four points without reply to really kill the game.
Three Mitchels points on the trot from Aiden Walsh (two) and Paddy Durcan only served to paper over the cracks and Ballyboden turned on the style in the closing stages, Mitchels' only other score a James Durcan effort in the middle of a raft of points from the winners.
Fittingly, Colm Basquel scored Ballyboden's final point. It capped a fine personal display on a day when most things went right for the Dublin team. For Mitchels it's another disappointing All-Ireland final display.