“The first 10 minutes crucified us”

After Clare’s six point win over Leitrim it was understandably frustrating for Barney Breen to attempt to give his post match verdict as it was plain for all to see that the game was effectively lost in the opening quarter and no matter what Leitrim did for the remainder of the game it was never likely to produce an unlikely reversal in fortunes.

After Clare’s six point win over Leitrim it was understandably frustrating for Barney Breen to attempt to give his post match verdict as it was plain for all to see that the game was effectively lost in the opening quarter and no matter what Leitrim did for the remainder of the game it was never likely to produce an unlikely reversal in fortunes.

By Philip Rooney

“That was the losing of the game, 1-4 in 10 minutes”, rued Barney, adding, “It’s going to be very hard to come back from that. We were beaten by six points and that was the difference, that was ultimately our crucifying time.”

As Clare went through their warm down exercises on the pitch the Leitrim joint manager pointed out one of the key differences between the teams.

“I’m just looking at Clare out there, 12 fellas 6’3 plus and 14 stone. We are at the pin of our collars, I hate using excuses but injury wise we are down to the bare bones as regard options. We have a great little squad gathered together but it’s taking its toll, to be realistic it has to be taking its toll at the moment. Everyone that’s there is putting in a huge effort and it’s great to see it but it does pay dividends in the end.”

Promotion was something that was never going to be easy for any team to achieve from Division 4 but having now lost two games Leitrim have a real uphill challenge in front of them but Barney stressing promotion is not a possibility if last Sunday’s performance is to be repeated.

“Mathematically it’s still possible but on that performance today it’s not an option for us. We were beaten all over the field, promotion is a long way off for us at this stage. There’s not much point talking about promotion until we get our performances better. We have Kilkenny next weekend and that might get us up and running for scores on the board but the following week we have another tough away game against Wicklow which is every bit as tough as here. Talking about promotion is a long way off, it always was going to be a long way off but it always in our hands and in our control. We need to focus on getting our performance up, that’s the most important thing especially against Wicklow in two weeks time.”

Looking for positives after such a disappointing defeat wasn’t easy but Barney did acknowledge that his players did work hard right until the final whistle.

“It’s hard to know at this point and time. We worked hard even though we were playing second fiddle. We were very ambitious coming down here today, we knew that we beat Clare last year at home in a tough game as well but with this new team there is no history there, we have no history behind us at all. We came down here with great expectations for a result but the first 10 minutes crucified us and ultimately that was our downfall.”