“I don’t think the score-line reflects it but at the end of the day, goals win matches as they say,” was the reaction of Leitrim Minor team manager Damien Eames as he surveyed a 14 point loss at the hands of Galway in the Minor Championship Semi-Final last Saturday.
Now in his second year in charge of the County Minors, Eames has twice tasted defeat at the hands of exceptional opposition but the Leitrim boss feels that the score-line does little justice to his troops.
“First and foremost, congrats to Galway, I wish them the very best in the Connacht Final, they are a very well coached team, backed by a strong Schools and clubs and a bigger county. Having said that, we’re gutted, we were confident that we would get a result today, we prepared really well, the guys invested a lot of time and effort.
“It is just disappointing, these guys are worthy of a lot more and I was saying to them that I hope they push on, there are great opportunities with the County at Under 21 and also the Senior team.”
Damien also praised his team’s fortitude in reaction so well after the concession of two early goals and highlighted the youth of his team – “Galway got off to a good start but we also talked about how they would have good patches and we would have good patches and how we responded. I think a lot of people would have expected us to fold after conceding 2-2 in the first ten minutes of the game but the guys showed great character to get back into the game.
“The one thing about this squad is that 11 of them are underage next year and I think at least eight of the lads who were on the pitch today will be underage again next year and to go up against a team who are back-boned by Connacht Schools champions St. Jarlath’s who were within a point of winning the All-Ireland Final, it is quite an achievement.
“They held their own out there, were highly competitive and for such a young team, I think they showed a lot of character and I’m hopeful that they will build on it and come back stronger and full of experience for next year.”
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.