Dunshaughlin caused a major surprise at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday when they dumped Donaghmore/Ashbourne out of the SFC race at the penultimate hurdle.
Earlier this year, Dunshaughlin laboured to a 1-11 to 1-10 Feis Cup victory over a 14-man Longwood side at Summerhill and they also just managed to get home after extra-time in the quarter-final of the SFC against Simonstown three weeks ago.
Winning is what counts and they have established that habit in knock-out fare and will relish their chances of causing another upset at the beginning of October in the final.
Based on recent displays, there won't be too many people piling the money on Dunshaughlin to win the Keegan Cup with Summerhill certain to start as odds-on favourites for the decider.
That was the way Donaghmore/Ashbourne went into this contest and Andy McEntee's men faltered when the pressure was applied. Trevor Dowd reeled off three superb points early in the second-half and that proved crucial in determining the outcome.
The opening half was highlighted by a lot of mis-directed passes, poor finishing and 24 frees equally divided as Dunshaughlin failed to capitalise on wind advantage and went in at the break adrift by 0-5 to 1-3.
Fergus Toolan's free after only 50 seconds had wind-assisted Dunshaughlin on the front foot, but they squandered a couple of reasonable chances subsequently.
Tommy Johnson raced clear and had prospects of a goal, but fired harmlessly wide, a feat equalled by Trevor Dowd soon after.
Those missed chances proved costly when David Morgan finished to the net in the sixth minute for Donaghmore/Ashbourne.
The chance arose from a free that was lofted into the Dunshaughlin goalmouth, John Broderick broke the ball and Morgan reacted quickly.
Toolan reduced the deficit to the minimum from another free, but a two-point salvo from Eoin Reilly (free) and Morgan kept Donaghmore/Ashbourne in the ascendancy.
Cathal O'Dwyer, operating at full-forward, hit the target from play with the first of two points before the break, but Morgan split the posts again at the other end.
Close to the interval Conor Devereux sent over a '45' and that left Dunshaughlin adrift by that solitary point.
Two frees in the first minute of the second-half helped Donaghmore /Ashbourne increase their lead and maintained the pattern of play - scrappy and fragmented. Reilly converted the second of those frees from about 25 metres after a surging run from his own half by Ciaran Ellis.
That was Donaghmore/Ashbourne's last score for almost 20 minutes and it was during that period that their demise gathered momentum.
Dunshaughlin were handed a lifeline in the 36th minute when Niall Murphy finished to the net after O'Dwyer's run along the end line made the opening.
The Dunshaughlin talisman benefited from a generous steps allowance by referee Colm McManus.
That goal gave Gary Farrelly's side a tremendous boost and Trevor Dowd reeled off three quick points for a 1-8 to 1-4 lead by the end of the third-quarter.
Devereux added another point before Ciaran Beirne eventually got Donaghmore/Ashbourne on the scoreboard again. Beirne converted a 13-metre free that was awarded for an off-the-ball incident.
Beirne then missed a free from a similar position, it was a costly error. Reilly revived Donaghmore/Ashbourne and left only three in it with a good point on the run with four minutes remaining.
Donaghmore/Ashbourne wasted at least four good chances as the clock ticked into three minutes of added time. Beirne and Ian Dowd split the posts, but there was no escape on this occasion.
"We were lucky, but we won," remarked Dunshaughlin's veteran stalwart Patsy McLoughlin to this correspondent. The broad smile showed how much it meant on what turned out to be a great weekend for Dunshaughlin.
Dunshaughlin - R Gogan; A Doyle, K McTigue, M Ahern; F Toolan (0-2 frees), C King, D Kealy; J Crimmins, R Maloney; T Johnson, C O'Dwyer (0-2), C Devereux (0-2 one '45'); T Johnson, N Murphy (1-0), T Dowd (0-3). Subs - M Reilly for Johnson 39 mins, T Delaney for Murphy 46m, R Kealy for Dowd 57m, N Kelly for Toolan 63m.
Donaghmore/Ashbourne - A Colgan; J Finnegan, C McGill, S Curran; C Ellis, C O Mealoid, E Riordan; B Menton, K Lannigan; E Reilly (0-3 two frees) , C Beirne (0-2 one free), I O'Donnell; D Morgan (1-2), J Broderick, T Morgan. Subs - T Kelly for Curran 29 mins, I Dowd (0-1) for T Morgan 42m, R O'Connor for O'Donnell 51m.
Referee - Colm McManus (Gaeil Colmcille).