NEWCASTLE West captain Michael Dowling believes that last year’s final appearance will stand to his side this Sunday.
Most of the magpie side had played in county minor and U-21 finals but last year’s defeat to Monaleen was their first taste of the Limerick SFC final.
Dowling is hoping that lessons learned will guide them towards ending their 20-year wait for a third crown.
“At the start of the year we sat down and everyone said that we would give it another lash. All we wanted to do was get back to the final again and rectify what went wrong last year,” explained Dowling this Wednesday afternoon.
“It was a learning curve and maybe on the day we didn’t take all our chances. Now we have a chance to rectify that and what we know is that you have to take the chances when they come,” explained Dowling, a Garda based in Tralee, like team-mate Stephen Kelly.
“Playing in a senior final is totally different and the experience should stand to us,” he added.
“We knew after last year that we had the ability.”
He added: “When the draw was made it was clear we had a tough group with Drom in the first game and Monaleen in the final game and then Ballylanders, Ballysteen and St Senans in between”.
“We just took every game as it came.”
Along the way came their third successive win over Sundays opponents, Dromcollogher-Broadford.
“It was good to beat Drom but things went our way on the day,” recalled Dowling.
The tight marking corner back isn’t reading anything into their recent record against their opponents.
“We have beat them but if you go back a few years they were beating us. I won’t count for anything on Sunday.
“Our preparation has been good for the last couple of weeks and hopefully now everything will go right on Sunday.”
Last year was their first senior final appearance since 2004 but all are more accustomed this time round.
“It has been a lot more low key - we are just concentrating on 60-minutes of football,” said the captain.
“We just hope we play and if everything works out we should be in a good position.”