Hurlers get league campaign off to a winning start

Leitrim opened their 2012 league campaign with an emphatic sixteen point win over neighbours Longford in Michael Fay Park, Longford on Sunday last. The Leitrim management team’s policy of developing home grown talent certainly paid dividends in a very spirited, lively and skillful display. In all, five players made their competitive senior inter county debuts, two corner backs Tomas Glancy (Carrick) and Paddy Clancy (Cluainin), and two corner forwards Niall McLoughlin and Kevin Clerkin from the Cluainin club as well as former St. Mary’s player Zomaku Moradi, who now plays his club hurling with Dublin club Thomas Davis.

Leitrim opened their 2012 league campaign with an emphatic sixteen point win over neighbours Longford in Michael Fay Park, Longford on Sunday last. The Leitrim management team’s policy of developing home grown talent certainly paid dividends in a very spirited, lively and skillful display. In all, five players made their competitive senior inter county debuts, two corner backs Tomas Glancy (Carrick) and Paddy Clancy (Cluainin), and two corner forwards Niall McLoughlin and Kevin Clerkin from the Cluainin club as well as former St. Mary’s player Zomaku Moradi, who now plays his club hurling with Dublin club Thomas Davis.

Leitrim 2-21

Longford 1-8

By Kevin Glancy

The blend of this youth combined with likes of the experienced Clement Cunniffe, Vinny McDermott, Stephen Feeney and Kevin McGrath has resulted in a promising panel of players under the guidance of the management team of Martin Cunniffe, Breian Carroll and Paddy O’Connor.

While the score line indicates an easy win for Leitrim, the result must be put in perspective. Longford weren’t a shadow of the team they were in recent years and had some difficulty in getting the requisite number of players for Sunday’s game. Their preparations were minimal and their overall display, while never lacking in spirit and commitment, indicated their level of preparation. In contrast Leitrim prepared diligently for this year’s league campaign and manager Martin Cunniffe said “There’s been a mountain of work done since Breian Carroll came in as trainer. We’ve planned for this for the last four months and results were plain to be seen today”

Leitrim dominated the game from the throw in and were in total control from as early as the third minute when Michael Poniard pointed from play after being set up by a neat Micheal Dolan had pass. Four points from Cunniffe and a Kevin Clerkin point from play interrupted by a John Newman point for Longford saw Leitrim lead by five points by the fifteenth minute. A minute later Cunniffe found Dolan in behind the home defence and he blasted to the net for Leitrim’s first goal giving Cork native Ciaran O’Regan no chance in the Longford goal.

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