AFTER bagging the all important goal that helped Louth clinch the Division Three title, goalscorer Ronan Carroll dedicated the decisive strike to a special little someone.
Midweek, Carroll welcomed his son into the world as little Conor was born. But before dashing home to his child, Carroll dedicated the strike to the tot.
“I would like to dedicate that to my baby son”, said the Mary’s man.
“He was born during the week, seven weeks premature. It was hard over the last couple of weeks getting to training but it felt good (getting that) for him.”
Another thing that felt good, not only for Carroll but the entire squad was finally winning a trophy as experiencing cup final heartache three times in the past two years.
“We’ve lost a lot of finals over the last couple of years so it is good to get back and get one in the bag.
“It was great to see such a comeback in the second half. Maybe it’s not the main objection of the year. Getting promoted to Division Two was one of the main aims, we did that and this was a bonus.
“So now we are going to have to work hard and prepare ourselves for the Championship and do all we can.”
Speaking of the goal, Carroll, who was deployed as a full-forward said the poacher’s instinct in him made him follow JP Rooney’s shot.
“I followed it in by chance. I saw JP lining it up and I don’t know, maybe it’s the poacher’s instinct incase the ‘keeper spills it or lets it falls. Nine times out of ten the ‘keeper catches that but you have to be there and take the risk and it worked out.”
Looking onto the Carlow game on June 12, the Louth frontman, who also scored against Waterford to help Louth seal promotion, thinks that now is the time to set the standards again in this year’s Leinster Championship.
“I know everyone is feeling the hurt from last year, but you have to put it out of your head. Hopefully this win will wash all those memories away and we kick on from this now.”
“I think we have something to prove. Last year didn’t go to plan, things did not work out. We are going to have to set the standards high and reach for that again, reach Croke Park again, reach the Leinster Final and try to win it.”
If Louth overcome Carlow, they could possibly meet Westmeath in a repeat of last year’s semi-final
“If you go by the bookies, they say we are odds on to meet Westmeath in the semi-final but they will be working hard, so will we. Maybe we will have to mix things up. You saw there, we have a great squad. It was good to see JP Rooney and Derek Maguire coming on to help us when we really needed it. There’s going to be an awful lot of competition for places over the next few weeks and I’d say training will be as hard as any game we played all year.”