There was no mistaking the relief and delight on the face of Limerick manager Maurice Horan as the former Mayo star admitted that last Sunday’s clash in the Gaelic Grounds could have very easily gone the other way.
“I’m very pleased, very, very pleased,” Maurice told the Observer, “A hard fought win just like last year for us, two points today, three points last year. It could have gone any way, Leitrim started breaking and they looked awful dangerous there.
“I felt our experienced guys, the likes of Stephen Lavin, Pa Ranahan, John Riordan, Paudie Browne, those guys came to the fore. I felt that overall we were composed enough, not all the time, but we’re relatively happy. We have a lot of stuff to work on before the game next weekend against Offaly, that is going to be a real dogfight .”
The Limerick manager expected a tough challenge from Leitrim but felt that Limerick could have made it easier on themselves – “If that goal shot had gone in, we could have gone on and won it by far more. But fair play to Leitrim, they took the wind out of our sails and I suppose they had to throw the kitchen sink at it in the last few minutes, there was two points at stake and Leitrim are going to be a difficult team for any team to face and to go up to Carrick-on-Shannon, I wouldn’t fancy it.
“Even without the FBD, it is always going to be tough. Leitirm are a football county, Limerick is a hurling county, you have to remember that and when you are playing Leitrim, it is always going to be tough.
“And I can see that the two boys, George and Barney, have really put a stable unit in. You can’t beat team spirit, you can’t beat hard work, they were blocking us and dispossessing us and any team that is willing to do that aren’t going to be too far away.
“We’ll take the positives out of today, we could have scored a bit more but Leitrim like to drop fellows back but it is a good start for the League. You can’t afford to drop points.”