So much of the talk in the build-up to last Sunday’s Connacht Gold Senior Championship Final revolved around Adrian Croal’s nose and whether or not he would be able to take his place in the Glencar/Manorhamilton starting 15.
By Philip Rooney
When word came through that Croal would indeed be starting, it was wondered whether or not he would be able to play the whole game but while not operating at 100%, the Leitrim star more than played his part in his side’s victory.
With victory seemingly secured deep into added time, manager Glenn Young withdrew the 21-year-old but that was as much so the massive Glencar/Manorhamilton crowd could pay tribute to the man who went through so much in order to ensure he would be on the pitch, the supporters recognised his efforts with a heartfelt standing ovation.
When asked by the Observer how his nose was after the game, Adrian acknowledged the pain he was in was made considerably easier by the fact that his side had just completed the four in a row - “It’s sore now but I’ll take that, I was going to go for surgery last Wednesday but I put it off until the end of the year to hopefully win another championship and thank God it paid off.”
Reflecting on the struggle he had to endure to ensure he would be able to play in his fourth county final Adrian commented, “If you told me 10 days ago when I was lying in hospital, I didn’t think I’d be out there today so just to be out there was a great feeling.
“All I can do is thank my family and thank my club because they did everything they could to get me back and have me on the pitch and it was great to get on the pitch.”
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.