Last Sunday saw two men in their forties playing a part for their clubs in winning counties titles.

Dessie Dolan, at 40, was on the Garrycastle side which claimed the Westmeath football title at Mullingar, while Niall Gilligan saw game time in the last couple of minutes of Sixmilebridge's Clare hurling triumph.

Down in Cork, a Junior B league semi-final between Douglas and St. Finbarr's saw another veteran roll back the years, becoming acquainted with a new family friend in the process.

Billy O'Connell, a paramedic who spent 29 years with the Irish Defence Forces, regularly volunteers his time with local sports clubs in the city.

One of the first people on the scene of a helicopter crash in Lebanon, which saw five people killed in August 1997, including Irish soldier Sergeant John Lynch, the 51-year-old began volunteering after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress.

Last weekend O'Connell was watching the game as normal but, after a couple of knocks to Barrs player, he was thrown into the fray.

It's an episode that could be repeated in any club the length and breadth of the country. This instance was a little different however, as O'Connell's marker was known to him.

"He's my daughter's boyfriend, and he plays as a half-back.

"I only passed him once or twice, but I'm in bits today."

It has been a few years since O'Connell, whose own club would have been Na Piarsaigh, had played a game, and his role looking after the medical needs of the players doesn't generally require boots or shorts.

So it was onto the pitch in his tracksuit bottoms, and the shoes he had on him.

"The fella I was replacing is a size 12, but I'm only an eight," he tells RTÉ Sport.

"We actually won by a point, and I got the second last point. We got a free on the 21, and I said the last time I scored was 30 years ago, I'm not going to give up a chance like this!"

Recently, he's been giving charity massages to try to help to fund jerseys for the Ireland wheelchair rugby team, which his friend Alan Dineen has been playing with since 2011.

About his recent foray back onto the pitch, O'Connell says he doesn't expect to play again, but that he'll continue to help out sports clubs in Cork when he can.

Listen to the RTÉ GAA Podcast at Apple Podcasts, SoundcloudSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.