Ryan Bogue made the long but joyous walk to lift the coveted Lory Meagher Cup in Croke Park on Sunday for the first time as captain of his county.  

Five points separated his teammates and Longford in the end after a high-scoring contest in Dublin which now sees the Erne men return to the Nickey Rackard competition next year.

“It was an unbelievable honour,” Bogue said. “I’ve been dreaming of doing that all my life. It’s probably something most boys dream of, walking up the Hogan Stand steps, it was a massive honour, especially with those group of boys.

"It’s just a great, hard-working panel. We work really hard and have good craic along the way.”

He lifted the trophy, on Sunday, alongside Joe Baldwin and hailed his manager for what he has achieved despite all he’s been through in the past year.

“Joe has been through a lot. I thought he deserved his moment to lift the cup as well on behalf of the team,” Bogue added.

“Joe’s a great man, everyone enjoys working for him, he brings great enthusiasm and great organisation and we owe him a lot.

"He’s brought us two Lory Meagher’s and a league title, took us to another league final, so, we owe him a lot. We all love working under him, he’s a great man.”

There was no time for celebrations on Sunday night as the half-back headed back up the road to Belfast to get back to his newborn baby Iarlaith and partner Aine to bask in a season of work that ended in glory at Croker.

“Straight home,” he said when asked about his celebrations. “I was lucky enough to get down on Saturday night to meet the boys before the match. I had to get home to take Iarlaith off Aine’s hands for a while.

"I suppose there will be plenty of celebrations over the next couple of months. The boys seemed to have enjoyed themselves. I was content to get home after getting away on Saturday night. It was nice to get up the road and lie at home, I was just content and satisfied with what we had done.

"That’s what it's all about, you have to celebrate these wins. As I said in my speech, Fermanagh hurling is such a small community. Realistically they were all in Eugene’s on Sunday night which is brilliant, that’s what it's all about. We’ve got great supporters, they’re at every single match.”

Bogue also paid tribute to the entire squad and praised all members for showing up to training all year and pushing on the team: “Brian Teehan was unbelievable for his first day in Croke Park. Sean Corrigan, Caolan Duffy, Ciaran Duffy, Luca (McCusker, Tom (Keenan), you could go through them all, everyone played their part which is very satisfying, that it all did click.

"Thomas Burns in particular has been there all year, ticked every box, went hard at every training session. Adam McShea, Cathair McManus, Tommy Duane. You need all them boys pushing at training to get the best out of everyone else.

"Cathair McManus got us out of a hole the week before in Longford, Adam McShea scored an important goal against Cavan.”

When asked how important Sunday’s win was and having the chance to progress at a higher level, Bogue replied: “This group is definitely fit to play at a higher level, that’s what you want to be doing at the end of the day, you want to be playing the best teams.

"Promotion is very important in the championship. Next year the league format changes, so there's only four divisions. You’ve two extra league games and you're promoted to the Nickey Rackard. We’re in a good place, we’ll enjoy this one and then we’ll get back to work.

"What we have done this year probably won’t be enough next year. We’ll have to do more against stronger opposition, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”