They may now sit imperious at the top of the pile, but nobody in Lordship will ever forget the Senior Championship final of 2006. It has been seared on to the collective consciousness of all who attended Clan Na Gael Pairc that day.
A rampant and seemingly unstoppable Pat’s side came undone against the underdogs that day in the shape of St Joseph’s. It hurt. Badly.
Since then all talk of that year has been banished from the region. But Paddy Keenan allowed himself to speak about it briefly in the build up to next Sunday’s final.
“A lot of us will look back to the Joe’s game in 06. We were favourites then and we left it behind us on the day and that experience still hurts a lot of players and we definitely don’t want that to happen again. We were very hurt and any mention of that around the club can receive a slap,” Keenan adds jokingly.
But it’s something which will no doubt play into the minds of Fergal Reel’s side ahead of facing Dreadnots.
“Everyone was writing the Joe’s off that year, but they had plenty of experienced players with county experience going into that final and it’s probably something similar with Dreadnots”.
With that mental scar ever present, the Louth captain will address Paddy Clarke’s side with the respect they deserve.
“We’re not going to underestimate the Dreadnots. We’ve played against them a number of times over the last number of years and we’ve always had tough games against them.
“They’re an up and coming team, they’ve a great manager. They’ve lads on both the U21 and senior Louth panels. So we’re definitely not overlooking them.”
Success doesn’t comes cheaply, or easily, and it requires long hard hours in the depths of winter if it is to bear fruit in autumn.
Keenan, although blessed with All Star skills, is a fierce advocate of a dedicated work ethic.
“Over the last ten years we’ve been as successful or more so than most teams in Louth. It doesn’t just arrive, you have to work very hard.
“Last year we struggled, it took a couple of replays to win the Championship. Since Fergal came in we’ve worked twice as hard as before”.