Bohemians began the day as Under-19 National League champions – by 10pm on Tuesday night, they could add the Enda McGuill Cup to their burgeoning trophy cabinet.
Craig Sexton’s side had earlier found out their opponents in the first round of Europe’s premier underage competition, the UEFA Youth League.
FC Midtjylland of Denmark will be visitors to Dalymount Park at the end of October when, all things going well, the Gypsies will have successfully negotiated their away tie in Herning.
If they’re to still be in the tie come October 24, the young Bohs will have to make a better start away from home as they did at Richmond Park on Tuesday evening.
Darius Kierans’ Saints hit the front with the very first chance of the game in the second minute through the head of Neill Byrne.
The winger found himself completely unmarked in the box and his bullet header towards the bottom corner was too hot for visiting goalkeeper Sean Bohan to handle.
It was the perfect start for the home side – who had been handy 3-1 winners when the sides met here in the league in May – and one they quickly set about building on.
With just one holding midfielder, the impressive Aaron Townley, in behind the athletic Richie O’Farrell and captain Luke Heeney, the Saints set their stall out to attack and press high up the field.
Bohs simply couldn’t deal with it in the first half as the Athletic turned the ball over repeatedly in the final third, with O’Farrell particularly impressive.
The former Ireland Under-17 international shot narrowly over from one turnover, and set up Heeney for another chance that should have yielded a goal but instead rebounded off the post.
Pats even had the ball in the net for a second time five minutes from the break, an unstoppable header from striker Jake Walker, but it was ruled out for a marginal offside call.
They flagged in the second half, however, and let Bohs back into it when Ali Reghba sent a header looping over Brian Maher from Andy Lyons’ excellent cross.
And the former Shelbourne striker got his second of the game within a minute of the restart when he took Ryan Graydon’s pass before firing under the helpless Maher.
From there, there was only going to be one winner, and the Athletic had Ireland Under-19 goalkeeper Maher to thank for keeping them in the game at all.
He stood tall to deny left-back Peter Adigun from point-blank range after he was sent through by Reghba after substitute Cian Hughes was robbed in midfield.
And he denied sub Marlon Marishta with a wonderful stop from inside the six-yard box in the final minute as Bohs looked to make sure.
Pats had one chance of their own, as Paul Cleary raced down the line and cut back for Walker, but the striker couldn’t connect and Bohs deservedly got their hands on another national trophy.