Not too many Leitrim supporters might have enjoyed the crushing tension in Ruislip last Sunday but for Man of the Match Emlyn Mulligan, the intense pressure of the championship was something to be savoured rather than avoided.
“People saying you wouldn’t be looking forward to coming over here,” said Emlyn, “but I’ll be honest with you, I was looking forward to coming over here to play the match. At the end of the day, you always enjoy championship matches, that is what it is all about, regardless of opposition.
“Fair enough, there was a bit of pressure on us but there was probably less pressure on us, a lot of people were writing us off, bookies alone were giving odds on to London to beat us. It gave us a bit of fight to prove people wrong, that we’re well able to stand up to it.
“There is a lot of pressure at times but all the boys, the young lads and the lads who came on, everyone stood up to it and I’m delighted for Barry and George.”
Emlyn also felt that the halftime score didn’t reflect the effort Leitrim had put in and it was a matter of being patient in the second half – “We went in at halftime three points down when maybe we shouldn’t have.
“London had a good four or five minutes there when we were two up and they turned five points around on us. I think before we went into this game, London had a tactic playing with that wind and they probably expected to have a bigger gap and be able to sit back and defend.
“We were probably happy enough with the three points, I know it took us a while to get it back but i knew that if we got level with them, we’d take over. Thankfully the boys stood up.
“Shane Moran, a young fella, came on and kicked a massive score he kicked. Enda Williams came off the bench again and obviously James kicked a massive score.
“Obviously we’re delighted with the win, a lot of people weren’t giving us a chance over here but we showed them now that we’re capable of handling pressure.”