“We’re gutted but we’ll just pick ourselves up, we have to, there is no other question of it,” were the words of Fabian McMorrow in the aftermath of a shattering defeat in Castlebar last Sunday as Leitrim seek to pick themselves up off the floor ahead of the Qualifiers.
Disappointed at the first dismissal of his career, Fabian nevertheless is trying to look ahead – “We put in a savage effort all year, we’re a really hard working team. We didn’t deserve that there today, its gut wrenching.
“Everyone in there is completely demoralised and it is going to be hard to pick ourselves up for the Qualifiers but that is what we must do.”
The disappointment wasn’t confined to the result as Fabian picked up two yellow cards, leading to the first dismissal of his career – “It was actually the first time I’ve ever got sent off in a game, even since Under 12s. Look, you have to take it for the team to stop another goal but it is just something you have do when they are running at you. I’ll just have to pick myself up.”
Despite his disappointment, the Melvin Gaels clubman was relatively happy with Leitrim’s first half performance but was in awe of the strength in depth Mayo possessed – “I suppose we did put a great performance in the first half and a few lapses in concentration cost us a few goals, men running through and it was hard to pick them up. It seemed like they could get goals when they wanted.
“It was a great performance in the first half, second half, it seemed like we stopped working. Losing Shane and Wayne, they’re massive players for us but even when they did go down, we still kept plugging away.
“We are a hard working outfit, we’re very together, we’ll back each other up you know, you saw it there today. I know in the second half, fellows might have just took their foot off the pedal and they kept pinging scores.
“Mayo have a savage bench, there is no point in saying otherwise. They’d be on the starting 15 in any other team in the country. It is tough to take it when you see guys like that coming off the bench, they can have scores coming from anywhere.”
On the back of scoring seven of Leitrim’s ten points last Sunday, Emlyn Mulligan showed his obvious disappointment and speaking to the Observer after the game, the Melvin Gaels man was clearly disappointed, but realistic: “It was disappointing out there, especially when you look up at the scoreboard and see that score. We had belief going into the game, we had to have belief and the two goals killed us in the first half.
“Man for man in the first half we gave one hundred percent, but for the two breaks (goals) we just lost concentration for a few seconds and the likes of Lee Keegan and Donal Vaughan were breaking through and that’s the difference between a Division One and Division Four team where they have that extra bit of class.”
Despite the discouraging nature of the defeat, Emlyn is calling on his team mates to put last weekend firmly behind them: “An eight point lead was maybe just a little too much to ask from us. If we had gone in at seven each at half time, then maybe we would have had that bit of belief but those two goals killed us.
“We’ve come down here and we’ve put a massive effort in. We knew we could compete with them and I guess we did just that for parts of the game. We are disappointed but we’ll just have to re-build now for the qualifiers and we’l hope to get a kind draw and give it a rattle.”