JUST 12 months ago, the players of Corinthian Boys trudged disappointedly towards the dressing rooms at St Colman's Park in Cobh after a heartbreaking 3-0 defeat to St Joseph's Boys in the U14 National Cup final.
What made the loss all the harder to take for the players on the day was the fact that they were forced to relive the heartbreak they had faced 12 months previously.
St Joseph Boys were the opposition then too, and the Dubliners won the U13 final 2-0 in 2015 after a much more competitive clash against Corinthians.
After experiencing such disappointment in the competition, it would have been easy to throw in the towel and accept defeat for the 2016/2017 campaign. However, this Corinthians' team used previous setbacks to their advantage, and when they eventually overcame St Joseph's Boys in the semi-final of the competition this season, a sense that this could be their year grew within the Castletreasure camp.
Their reward came on Wednesday night at Turner's Cross, an U15 National Cup triumph after a gripping Cork derby against St Mary's.
It turned out to be third time lucky for Mark Redmond and his players and the Corinthian Boys manager said his team used past setbacks to spur them on this season.
"The disappointment of the past was certainly a driving force for us and the victory is as much relief as it is anything else."
On the night past winners Cork U15 cup winners Tower Rovers and Wembley were honoured at half-time, and Redmond was pleased to see the champions of the past celebrate a memorable game for Cork football.
"To have a national final between two Cork teams and with past players from Wembley and Tower there on the night was simply fantastic and it was a great night for the CSL overall."
It was lucky number seven for the club as Redmond's team did what six Corinthians teams couldn't do in the past and the victorious manager said a past player paid the team a visit recently to offer words of encouragement.
"There have been some outstanding players and teams at Corinthians over the past few decades and for us to get over the line and win the competition is something special. Brian Lenihan spoke to the team on the weekend and missing out on the National Cup is still one of his regrets so he encouraged the players to give their all in the final."
Redmond also praised opponents St Mary's and thanked his management team and others involved with the club.
"We know how the Mary's players were feeling after the game but they were simply a credit to their club and I have huge respect for them and their manager, John Murphy. I would like to thank the parents for their support, coaches John Meade and Craig Donnellan for their expertise and Terry O'Donovan for his all round support over the years."