After an FBD campaign that promised so much for the followers of Leitrim football last Sunday’s Allianz National League Division 4 opening round fixture against Limerick in Pairc Sean MacDiarmada proved to be something of a reality check for a Leitrim side that were fortunate to emerge from with just a three point defeat.
By Philip Rooney
There were some positives that can be taken from the game but primarily this was a game that left the expectant home crowd frustrated.
The start was positive and encouraging but early dominance was not translated into scores while the second half slump that saw Limerick boss the midfield battle saw the game ultimately get away from the home side.
The game’s only goal, scored by Limerick wing back John Riordan was ultimately the difference between the sides on the score sheet but had Limerick failed to win the game they would have only had themselves to blame as they missed numerous opportunities over the course of the game.
Ger Collins had a glorious goal chance in the opening half when he got in behind the Leitrim defence but he blasted his shot over the bar while in the second half Eoghan O’Connor had another goal chance after a short Leitrim kick out went wrong. Ian Ryan also had a glorious opportunity to get the game’s opening goal but his venomous shot came back off the crossbar. Limerick ultimately weren’t made to pay for those misses but it will be a cause for concern that Leitrim’s full-back line, which looked so assured during the FBD league, was left looking rather vulnerable.
Leitrim began and finished the game strongly but there were large periods between those sections of the game that Limerick bossed proceedings. Their desire for a win was obvious with the players closing down and harrying in a manner that would have been expected from the Leitrim players.
As a spectacle the game won’t live long in the memory, with only six points registered during the opening half, although Leitrim would have been relatively pleased with their first half showing.
Paul Brennan was the first to threaten the Limerick uprights but his early effort was off target.
The bright start that Leitrim made to the game was encouraging but the fact that the majority of attacks were breaking down before an opportunity for a shooting opportunity arose.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.