After scoring a fully deserved win over Longford last Sunday, Leitrim manager Martin Cunniffe send out a defiant message ahead of next Saturday’s Lory Meagher Cup Semi-Final, proclaiming that the County Hurlers won’t fear the Ernemen despite suffering a big defeat to them in the last game of the League.
“We don’t fear Fermanagh,” said Martin, “In our first game against Tyrone we went in four points down after the first 25 minutes having conceded a very soft goal. We can stand up to Fermanagh in the semi-final. We have brought in a number of new players to the Leitrim panel. We have new young players who have done very well since they came into the squad like Niall McLoughlin, Keith Boyle and David Poniard.
“Niall nd Keith tacked over some lovely points today. This is a very young team except for the likes of my own Clement and Vinny McDermott and our goalkeeper Tommy McLoughlin who had to make a comeback because we had two goalies that got injured. I would say the average age would be 21, so give another year or two and I’d say we will end up in Division Three of the National Hurling league.
“Against Fermanagh, we will be up against it but remembering our first 35 minutes against Tyrone, we know we can play like that when we play Fermanagh. We aim to play the whole game against Fermanagh like the first half against Tyrone and go on to beat Fermanagh.”
The victory was a reward for the effort the hurlers have put in over the year - “We are very happy now. That’s what we aimed for. We came up here with 26 lads who have trained for the last five months. In fairness our lads they gave it everything and came out with quite a win at the end.
“We went in at halftime having conceded a soft goal but we knew we had the legs. We had trained for this and this training was going to stand to us. At halftime we were happy enough; we had the wind and sun to our back for the second half. So the lads went back out and in the first ten minutes put over five or six points I think. That was the platform on which the game was won for us.”