Louth forward Conor Branigan helped his team to victory over Offaly in the National Football League at O'Connor Park, Tullamore, on Sunday afternoon. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Let’s put everything in perspective. Sunday’s game at Tullamore belonged to Division Three of the league. Offaly, Louth’s opponents, managed just one point from their two opening matches, leaving them marginally ahead of the whippers-in, Sligo.
Louth were poor against Longford first time out, but improved to cause a huge surprise in the Croke Park defeat of Laois. So, this would be as near to bargain basement stuff as made no difference, the losers left with a relegation worry, the winners in mid-table.
Away with perspective. Whether or not they retain Division Three status, or maybe even win promotion, the current Louth team showed at O’Connor Park they don’t accept defeat as inevitable, even when five points in arrears, and unlike many of the outfits that preceded them, haven’t got Lady Luck as a distant cousin.
It was rollicking stuff in the midlands, a fiercely competitive game going Louth’s way in the dying seconds. The vital score in a 2-10 to 2-8 win came not from a red-jerseyed warrior, but an Offaly defender. Travelling supporters’ celebrations which followed the ref’s final blow of the whistle were akin to those which came in the aftermath of the 2010 championship semi-final defeat of Westmeath.
You could count in dozens the number of those shouting for the Bevan Duffy-captained side at Croker last Saturday week.
There were more there on Sunday - and that number is likely to be added to when Sligo come to this part of the world for a round three match the Sunday after next.
Does “this part of the world” have to be Drogheda’s Gaelic Grounds? Like many other teams in the past, Wayne Kierans’ crew might appreciate the more open spaces of St. Brigid’s Park or Ardee’s Páirc Mhuire.