“Whenever you think about Croke Park, you think about scoring a point or scoring a goal or even just getting on” says Tom Keenan. Well, on Saturday evening the Kinawley man did more than all of that, he bagged a hat-trick and chipped in with two points, as he helped Fermanagh land the Lory Meagher Cup.
The talented corner forward was nursing a slightly sore head on Monday morning but if you can’t celebrate scoring three goals, in a national final, on the hallowed turf of Croke Park, what can you celebrate?
Keenan, who is as renowned for his footballing ability as he is for his hurling prowess, won a Hogan Cup medal with St Michael’s in Croke Park back in 2019 and he was on the losing side against Louth in last year’s Lory Meagher decider. But the 20 year-old says; “I think that one probably topped it for me, on a personal level anyhow. Obviously, whenever you score three goals you are going to enjoy it. The Hogan was huge and it was a far bigger deal, but it was nice to play well in it (Lory Meagher final) too.”
Fermanagh had a slow start, showing signs of nerves early on but after the first water break the team started to settled and put on a masterclass in hurling.
“We knew that we had the beating of Cavan but I think we were carried away at the start and we were a wee bit nervous in the first quarter and maybe scored three points and something like 1-09 in the second quarter. We slowly came into it and then at half time we knew what we needed to do and move it quicker, get it into where the space is and we would beat them hands down, and that is what we did. We just completely out-hurled them in the second half because we knew we had it in us.”
And if truth be told Fermanagh had the game won well before the whistle sounded, but Keenan and his team-mates never eased up on the Breffni men.
“I am just that used to things going wrong” he says, “whenever I was coming off, I looked at the scoreboard and there was about 15 points in it and I was like, surely we’ve got this won.”
And so they did, and when the final whistle sounded, it was “joy, pure joy” says the Lisbellaw club hurler. “I have been playing hurling with them boys my whole life, from day one, and that meant everything. It was special. I have best friends on that team.”
Keenan first picked up the stick when he was in P2 in Tattygar Primary School in Lisbellaw.
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Posted: 12:26 pm August 5, 2021