Fergal’s attention turns quickly to Connacht Final

Roscommon’s victory over Leitrim may have been considerably easier than anyone would have predicted but nevertheless manager Fergal O’Donnell was quickly focusing his sights on a second successive Connacht Final after his side’s easy win in Pairc Sean MacDiarmada on Sunday last.

Roscommon’s victory over Leitrim may have been considerably easier than anyone would have predicted but nevertheless manager Fergal O’Donnell was quickly focusing his sights on a second successive Connacht Final after his side’s easy win in Pairc Sean MacDiarmada on Sunday last.

By Philip Rooney

Although his side are the reigning Connacht Champions, the Roscommon manager insisted the memories of 2009s annihilation at the hands of Mayo mean complacency will not be a factor when they face either Mayo or Galway on July 17, in Hyde Park.

“Connacht medals are hard come by in Roscommon and there are very few fellas win two back to back but it’s a great chance now. This was the easier route Sligo would have said that, Leitrim would, we all would have said once you avoid the big two. We know we’ll be up against it, we’re hoping to make it difficult for them.

“The important thing is to be competitive and Leitrim will be disappointed today that they weren’t competitive. That would be the one thing that we have to careful of, 2009 is very fresh in my memory and I don’t want a repeat of that.”

When asked if he expected it to be so easy for his side, Fergal replied, “Any time you win by 12 points you don’t expect that and we’re not in the habit of beating teams by 12 points. We got the few breaks, we got the goal early one. I think it was a mishit or whatever but we got the goal and that worked to our advantage.

“Leitrim were unlucky not to get goals and the conditions as well - things favoured us as well. We got the few breaks and there was a lot of pressure on Leitrim coming into the game after beating Sligo and there wasn’t that much pressure on ourselves, we came in here nice and quietly and that’s a nice way to come into a match.”

Fergal felt playing with the wind in the opening half was a significant advantage although he had not realised Leitrim had won the toss and opted to play into the strong conditions.

“I didn’t know that, our aim was to play with the wind anyway so we were happy. It was an advantage to go in at half-time and the goal gave us the cushion. In games like this when it’s wet, goals are important. The second half we had a few chances and we could have put them over the bar and the game kind of fizzled out.

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.