Niall pays tribute to his side’s hunger and work ethic

After his side were narrowly beaten by Armagh, Leitrim manager Niall Kilcrann insisted his side were looking forward to returning to their “fortress” in Ballinamore and after last Sunday’s win over reigning All-Ireland Intermediate Champions, Westmeath, Niall explained why they enjoy playing in Ballinamore.

After his side were narrowly beaten by Armagh, Leitrim manager Niall Kilcrann insisted his side were looking forward to returning to their “fortress” in Ballinamore and after last Sunday’s win over reigning All-Ireland Intermediate Champions, Westmeath, Niall explained why they enjoy playing in Ballinamore.

“This is a fantastic pitch and the people in Ballinamore look after us when we come here, everything is laid on for us so we feel at ease playing in Ballinamore.”

Reflecting on the game Niall insisted it was hard work that won the game for Leitrim and believes even if Westmeath had not had two players issued with yellow cards, Leitrim would still have emerged victorious.

“We worked hard and Westmeath made us work hard, it was a scrappy enough game but any team that comes here we make them work hard. We showed that today, Westmeath are All-Ireland champions and these girls know they can mix it with the best. When you’re in Ballinamore you work hard and the Leitrim girls work harder than any other team and hopefully that’s the way we keep it going for the next week against Wicklow.

“We made one or two little mistakes but we held our nerve and got a little bit of luck that we didn’t get in Armagh and that carried us over the line but I still would like to think sin bin or no sin bins this team would have been able to get over the line and win today.”

While the victory was certainly deserved Niall did concede the last few minutes were tough to watch from the sideline as Westmeath gave everything as they fought to get back on level terms.

“Nobody wants to be a manager for those last two or three minutes, you want to be a player out there doing something about it. Sin bins can be a big help but they can also be a hindrance because players raise their game.”

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