After what was in the end a commanding eight point win over Offaly in Ballinamore, Pat Costello agreed it was nice to get back to winning ways and with three games remaining, the manager now has eyes fixed on a place in the final.
Leitrim are currently in fifth place in the League, three points behind Wexford with three games remaining. The top four in the division advance to the semi-finals but Pat has his sights fixed even higher than that.
“The one thing sure from today is that we won’t be relegated. We have Fermanagh next on Easter Sunday and that should push us on another bit and then we have Tipperary and Wexford to go then after that, two hard games to finish.
“Within the camp, we are trying to push a step further and look at a league final situation. The weeks are tipping on and we are approaching the end of March and the team will get more settled.”
Reflecting on the win over Offaly Pat acknowledged his team got off to a poor start suggesting the extra-time in a minor match prior to his team's game and the subsequent delay didn't help his players.
Having used the game to field a number of squad players Pat felt his side got stronger as the game progressed - “We gave away two silly goals, two ridiculous goals at such an early stage of the game. It's hard to know what happened, it could have been hanging around for the minor match beforehand to finish but we regrouped fairly fast and didn't panic.
“Offaly are always a hard team to shake off but once we got a comfortable five or six points ahead of them it seemed to get easier.
“We brought on a few more experienced players that would have played last year. We started with girls that we had promised we would give them a run during the year and try and blood them for the championship. In the second half we had four or five of the more seasoned players from last year and the experience told in the second half.”
There were a number of stand-out performances throughout the Leitrim team and Pat was particularly impressed with the contribution of Ailish O'Dowd.
“Ailish O’Dowd has really come into this, in her first year playing adult football. I know I am always harping on about this but there is no minor football team in Leitrim, what a waste of a talent having not played minor football for her county and there was a lot of girls in that situation.
“Thankfully this year there is minor football so a lot of those girls will have minor football going into adult football.”
Pointing out other positives from the game Pat noted, “The Heslins (Aine and Michelle) did very well as well and Claire Owens was excellent in the second half. Ailish O’Dowd was very good and Michelle Guckian kicked some good points in the second half.
“They played some lovely off the shoulder passes as well.”