Louisburgh are just 60 minutes away from claiming their first provincial title as they take on Roscommon junior champions Creggs in the Connacht Junior Club Football Championship final deep in enemy territory this Sunday.
It is more than 150km each way from Louisburgh to Kiltoom in the far eastern reaches of Roscommon, and if you throw in a boat trip from Clare Island over and back for a few supporters and players, they face one hell of a journey in two days' time. But with a chance to pick up another piece of silverware at the end of what had been a brilliant season for John Kelly’s men, the black and amber faithful from the west coast will be out in force to cheer on their men.
Following their memorable county final victory over Balla, Louisburgh backed it up with a hard fought win over Galway champions Oranmore-Maree in Pearse Stadium a fortnight ago. Kevin Gibbons was once again their go-to man that day, scoring six points for his side as they held off a late fight back from their opponents to edge the game 0-15 to 3-5. The concession of three goals in the second half is something that Louisburgh will have been working hard to make sure does not recur, especially with the latter two of those three pointers coming from penalty kicks.
Gibbons has been the star man for Louisburgh this year, but with Padraig Prendergast, Alan Moran, Michael Gibbons, and Austin O’Malley on the field, there are plenty of men who are more than able to show leadership on the field. Their opponents picked up their first Roscommon junior title in 33 years a month ago when they beat Kilglass Gaels 1-10 to 0-8 in the county final. They followed that up with a two point win over Sligo champions St Michaels on a scoreline of 0-14 to 2-6. They had trailed in that game by 2-4 to 0-6 at half time, but scored their opponents by 0-8 to 0-2 down the home straight to book their place in Sunday’s decider.
Having home advantage will be something they will be counting on come Sunday, but Louisburgh have shown in their county final and provincial semi-final win that they will hang on in there right until the end and they will not be leaving anything behind them on the field.