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Friday 29 August 2014

Jamie driven by hunger to win second medal

John Savage

Published 25/09/2013 | 05:20

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AS one of the main men of a star-studded Blues generation, it might come as a surprise to hear that Jamie Carr only has one Senior Championship medal in his hip pocket.

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A fresh-faced 19-year-old when the Blues completed a two-in-a-row in 2001, he could have been forgiven for thinking there'd be plenty more where that came from, but 12 years on the Louth defender is till searching for a second.

'In 2005 we were beaten by a very good Collon side and in 2008 [when Blues beat Mattock to win Joe Ward] there was a bit of a dispute and I left and went to St Sylvester's with Darren Clarke. Luckily enough I was able to come back, but we met a great Pats side in 2011 and lost after a replay. So it's just the one so far.'

An even bigger surprise is that despite contesting nine finals between them since the year 2000, Blues and Cooley haven't met in a county final this century. In fact you have to go all the way back to 1981 to unearth their last tussle for Joe Ward.

'I was born in '82, so it just shows how long it's been since we were in a final against them,' Carr says, still on a high after Blues' semi-final victory over St Pat's.

What happened 32 years ago will have no bearing on Sunday's clash, but Carr still knows what to expect from Cooley.

'They've some great players. If you look at the Louth panel this year, at one stage there was seven Cooley lads on it. And they have a great backroom team and I've worked with Colin O'Hare under Eamonn McEneaney.

'They'll have plenty of motivation being labelled as bridesmaids, but when you come under the radar a bit you still have that fight in you. We probably are going in as favourites, because we have beaten the favourites there tonight [last Friday], but we've no problem with that.'

Winning at all costs will be the sole objective on Sunday, but Carr is able to detach himself slightly to see a bigger picture.

'I'd be hoping for a great game too because you have to get the club standard up in Louth. It has been poor over the years and that's going to hit the county standard too.'

Reflecting on the semi-final win over Pats, Carr was quick to point out that the Lordship men were at a severe disadvantage for three quarters of the game.

'We have to be honest with ourselves and remember that this was a 14-man Pats team, so we have to count ourselves a wee bit lucky.

'But after the draw we knew it was all going to come down to who was right mentally and that it would still be very close going into the last five minutes.

'It was really a case of cutting out the errors and we kind of did that. People are giving out about the ref, but I felt it was a very hard game to referee.'

A second-half substitute, Carr won't know if he can force his way into the starting fifteen until later in the week, but that's another reality he's willing to accept and be ready for.

'Everybody wants to play in the final. Maybe it's coming down to old age with myself, but it just shows the strength in depth we have in the panel. You could see it when we had a few very experienced lads coming off the bench. It's an old cliche, but once the team is going well I don't mind.'

The nine-day turnaround doesn't bother him either, even if the pre-final rituals are a rush job.

'I'd say there's plenty of dust on the flags at this stage, but it's all about being there now, and if the final was tomorrow we'd be ready for it.'

The Argus

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