Leitrim out in force in Croke Park

Leitrim may not have reached the Allianz League Division 4 Final in Croke Park last Saturday but there was still a strong presence from the county at GAA headquarters for the historic Connacht Minor Championship first round clash between New York and Roscommon.

Leitrim may not have reached the Allianz League Division 4 Final in Croke Park last Saturday but there was still a strong presence from the county at GAA headquarters for the historic Connacht Minor Championship first round clash between New York and Roscommon.

Leitrim may not have reached the Allianz League Division 4 Final in Croke Park last Saturday but there was still a strong presence from the county at GAA headquarters for the historic Connacht Minor Championship first round clash between New York and Roscommon.

With five players of Leitrim descent playing for New York in Croke Park and a Leitrim referee, there was plenty of interest from the county and Aughavas in particular.

Referee Ray McBrien and his team of umpires Sonny McCartan, Peter & Fintan McBrien and Gerry Gallogly were the officials for the first ever Connacht Minor Championship match to be held at Croke Park.

Unfortunately for New York, it was not a good day as a very young team lost 4-20 to 0-3 to a Roscommon team who won the Connacht Minor League title just a few weeks previously. The Rossies featured three players who lined out with Carrick-on-Shannon Community School this year, corner-back David O’Dowd from Shannon Gaels, Liam Conlon from St. Michael’s who started on the forty and sub Fintan Sweeney, also from Shannon Gaels.

However, it was the New York team that contained the strongest Leitrim influence with Noel McBrien, brother of umpires Peter and Fintan, getting to see his son Michael line out at corner-forward for the New York Minors.

Aughavas had another link through John Clarke, who lined out at corner-back and a player with a double Leitrim connection through father Albert from Gortletteragh and mother Mary (nee Williams) from Aughavas.

Carrick-on-Shannon were represented by keeper Aidan Tansey, son of Vincent & Sheila of Grange, while Aughawillan’s Brendan Flanagan saw his son Conor come on as a sub, a nephew of Leitrim’s 1994 Connacht Championship winner Gerry Flanagan.

The Leitrim line-up was completed by Rory Redican who also has a double connection with father Paul from Kiltubrid and mother Assumpta from Ballinamore while Liam McHugh, with Glenfarne roots was a member of the panel.