By Katrina Brennan
AT 21 years of age, corner forward Conor Love is one of the most exciting prospects on the Fermanagh football scene. After producing throughout the championship, the pacey attacker once again delivered for his club on Sunday afternoon, banging in two goals and a point for his team on their way to victory.
Love was exceptional up front and he strikes you as a wise head on young shoulders, as he responded to some questions afterwards.
“Now it’s about pushing on. We’ve such a high benchmark to reach when you think of the Derrygonnelly teams, the Roslea teams of late, and our own teams from 20 years ago. That’s where we want to be, we don’t want to be a flash in the pan and it’s about making the next step in Ulster for Fermanagh football,” he said.
“If you think about the Gaels teams; when the Gaels team is going well, Fermanagh is going well, so it all collates into one. There’s such competition in Fermanagh football. I think you could’ve had six or seven winners which is a testament to each club.
“It’s great to be on top today but again it’s about pushing on.”
With Cavan champions Gowna their quarter-final opponents in a fortnight’s time, there’ll be little time for celebrating before Simon Bradley has his team focused on the next step.
Love once again showed what he is capable of with two brilliantly taken goals on Sunday. The first of which required quick thinking and Love was on hand to pick up the pass and find the net.
His second was sheer class. After beating the Erne Gaels defender he slotted with his left to rubber stamp the win.
“The space is always going to open up when the boys around the middle are working hard,” said Love. “Some of the scores in the first half, I had no part to play in them, but I like it that way as long as it’s going over the bar.
“It opened up near the end of the first half and at the end when Belleek had to throw the sink at it. Fair play to them, they did as well – (they were) nervy moments.
“But, I’m just happy to get over the line and everyone stepped up today and that’s brilliant. Every man off the bench; the level of trust here in this team I’m delighted with. Everyone just stepped up to the plate and that’s what makes you a championship team,” said Love.
As Richard O’Callaghan lifted the cup on behalf of the team, Love understood the years of toil their skipper had put in and he was delighted for him;
“He deserves it more than anyone. I think everyone knows that. It’s kind of like, ‘Richie O’Callaghan and the Gaels u-21s’, at some stages he’s like a teacher or a father but some of the drive-ons today, the whole year, last year – it’s the least he deserves.”