Motivation was not in short supply for Leitrim last Saturday as manager Pat Costello felt that whoever the Green & Gold faced was in for a tough afternoon after their Connacht Final defeat to Sligo.
“Any team we were going to get after the Connacht Final was going to pay the price a small bit,” Pat said, “Fermanagh, in fairness to them, didn’t give up. They are a Division 4 team but it didn’t go well for them, they had a bad run in the championship but we had a job to do and we did it reasonably well.”
Leitrim won’t have learned much from their destruction of Fermanagh, a point the manager agrees with but Pat felt that competition for places is driving the Leitrim challenge - “You can only beat what is put in front of you and it was a game that we are lucky to get going into the All-Ireland Quarter-Final in two weeks time.
“It gets the monkey of the Sligo defeat off our back, it gets us back playing again albeit it was not that competitive but it is still amazing how we have girls fighting for places and they got a chance there today to show what they can do.
“We gave a run to five subs there today so we are happy with that. We’re happy enough with how the girls played, the opposition would have been poor but we are still happy with how we played ourselves.”
And the manager revealed that it didn’t take much to get Leitrim back on track - “I think they felt in their own hearts, they knew that they had played well against Sligo, they didn’t take their chances on the day.
“We had goal chances, we didn’t take them so they felt that they didn’t let themselves down, they did the best they could. It was easy to pick them up, it is easy when you have pride in the county and girls who have that hunger, it is easy enough to pick them up.”
Leinster champions Kildare await and Pat is all too aware of the challenge - “Kildare are in the same boat as we are but the difference for us is that we are going from a Division 4 team to a Division 2 team, we are Division 3 so we have to be very careful and under no illusions of the challenges that faces us.
“Kildare were in the All-Ireland Final last year, they have that bit of experience so it is full focus for the next two weeks, a bit of hard training.”