Limerick manager Maurice Horan was a pleased man as he stood on the Pairc Sean MacDiarmada sideline after he saw his side get off to a winning start with a deserved win over Leitrim in the opening round of the Allianz National League Division 4. Reflecting on the game Maurice acknowledged it wasn’t much of a spectacle but he was adamant the only thing he was concerned about was ensuring he and his side returned to Limerick with a win and two points.
Speaking after the game Maurice said, “We were very nervous about this match, coming up here, we had a terrible start to the league last year. Throughout last season we kept referring to the poor start and we didn’t want to go back to that standard. We wanted to come up here, be nice and sharp.”
Reflecting on the game the Limerick boss wasn’t pleased with the first half performance but felt his side were much better after the break. “We weren’t settled in the first half, we had seven wides and a couple into the goalies hands.
“We started the second half well, Eoghan O’Connor settled us down, a young fella, and then Ian Ryan came into and John Riordan, you couldn’t pick a better player to slip it past the goalie. We’re delighted with it, very happy.”
The all-important goal, scored by wing-back John Riordan arrived at a time when Limerick were dominating matters after several other goal chances were spurned with Maurice noting, “It was funny that it was a half-back that scored it. Ger Collins and Ian Ryan, you’d normally put your house on these guys but Ian Ryan rattled the crossbar and he hit the upright after that.”
Maurice insisted he was aware of the threat posed by Leitrim and stressed the importance of hard work to his players. “We said whatever we were going to do we were going to work hard because hard work will be the foundation of everything. Coming up here was never going to be easy. Limerick haven’t a good record against Leitrim and it was essential that we got the two points today. It wasn’t really up for debate, in our heads we had to get the two points.
“We knew the great campaign that Leitrim had in the FBD they seem to have great spirit in the camp. They were attacking and pushing up on us and it took us a while to crack them but thankfully we did.”
The game may not have been the prettiest to watch but that did not concern Maurice in the slightest as we was delighted to get Limerick’s campaign off to a winning start.
“What was the score at half-time – three points all, I’d say the spectators were looking for refunds but at the same time you have to look at the soft underfoot conditions and two points is invaluable and we’re delighted to get it.”