Tom hoping lessons learned

They may be only one hour from claiming the Intermediate Championship title but Gortletteragh manager Tom Crowe is all too aware of the task facing his players on Saturday when they face Melvin Gaels for the second time in the this year’s championship.

They may be only one hour from claiming the Intermediate Championship title but Gortletteragh manager Tom Crowe is all too aware of the task facing his players on Saturday when they face Melvin Gaels for the second time in the this year’s championship.

By Philip Rooney

Having been beaten heavily by Melvin Gaels in their opening game, Gortletteragh have improved steadily as the championship has progressed and look a much more formidable outfit than the one that was so easily swept aside on the opening day.

Speaking last week at a training session in Newtownforbes, Tom assessed his teams route to the final - “It is my second year here, we put down the basis last year for going forward. One of our selectors stepped down at the end of last year and we brought Dessie Barry on board to bring us to another level.

“We have made a bit of progress in getting to a final, last year we were knocked out in the quarter-final, so it’s a great start to get this far but of course when we’re there now we want to win it.

“We wanted to try and improve the type of football we were playing and work to our strengths and it’s fairly obvious that’s what we’re at: try to play a couple of lads inside and get good ball into them and as the year has gone on they seem to be improving and latching on to the task.”

Turning his thoughts to Saturday’s opponents, Tom noted “When the year starts you look at what’s in front of you and Melvin Gaels, Dromahair, Glenfarne would be the strong teams in it. In one way we were lucky to be drawn in the same group as Melvin Gales because it meant if we got out with them we’d end up in a final with if we progressed through.

“They had a great start the first day, we had a poor start, they caught us off guard, the lads heads dropped and we never got up to the pace of the game at any stage.”

Having seen Melvin Gaels in action it could be argued that Gortletteragh will have an advantage in that they will know how to stop the Kinlough men but Tom was quick to point out, “The problem is that they have too many good players!

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