As tough as Monaghan were getting it in the All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Dublin last year, their resistance collapsed after Colin Walshe ruptured his cruciate ligament.
A few months later, he was on the All-Stars trip to Boston. While other football stars lapped up life in Bean Town, Walshe was a daily visitor of the hotel gym, spending his time on the foam roller, doing exercises to build up his leg after the operation.
His patience and persistence were rewarded after coming on as a sub against Cavan earlier in the Championship when he kicked the insurance point - his first in Monaghan colours.
"Scoring was probably the last thing on my mind," said the Drumhowan man.
"When I got on at that stage, I was just making sure I did what Malachy (O'Rourke) wanted of me, and the first thing that Malachy was looking from me was putting in a performance for the team and I just turned up in the right place for the point."
His score put a gloss on a stuttering display, and they had another off-colour evening against Fermanagh in the semi-final, something Walshe is not prepared to hide behind.
He said: "We are probably disappointed with some of our performances, we feel that we didn't play to our potential. We got our two wins and are back in the final, it wouldn't be a nice thing to look back at now if we had been pipped."
They now have a chance to avenge their poor performance in last year's Ulster final which, despite drawing close through Christopher McGuinness' goal, they never looked like winning.
"We couldn't get firing on all cylinders going into the game and once Donegal got a lead built up, we seemed to get frustrated early on," admitted Walshe.
"Going into the game we had a couple of tough battles with Tyrone and Armagh, maybe we picked up a few knocks - but Donegal were definitely the better team that day and we have had no complaints."
He also maintains they are coming in with the better run of form, pointing to their destruction of Armagh as the complete package in how to put a team away.
"We have to be prepared to face that in the final but we know ourselves that the performances we have given so far are not going to be good enough," he said in that most GAA fashion of talking yourself down.
One thing is for sure - they will not be as subservient tomorrow.