There has been something of a feel good factor surrounding Leitrim football in recent weeks following the senior sides victory over Roscommon in the FBD League, encouraging showings from the U-21 team and last week that mood continued in Ballyhaunis as the Leitrim VEC side beat Galway by eight points to set-up a Connacht final against Mayo.
By Philip Rooney
Playing against an incredibly strong wind in the opening half Leitrim defended doggedly and looked dangerous when the opportunities arose to attack. In fact had Nicholas Moore been successful with his penalty in injury time at the end of the first half then the sides could have been level despite the fact that Leitrim were playing against such a strong wind.
The fact that Leitrim failed to score a goal from that penalty was forgotten within 30 seconds of the start of the second when Nathan Conboy scored an excellent goal to give Leitrim they did not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
Throughout the pitch their were excellent performances for Leitrim with Stephen McManus, Adrian Sorohan and Conor Reynolds strong in defence while Conor Walsh and in particular Tomas Mulvey both had fine games in midfield.
The forwards didn’t have see too much of the ball during the opening half but their hard work was crucial to ensuring there was so little between the sides at the interval and when they had the wind at their backs in the second half they all made their presence felt. They were all comfortable on the ball, clever when it came to selecting the right pass and crucially, clinical in front of goal.
The game got off to the worst possible start for Galway who lost midfielder Gearoid Cannavan to what appeared to be a hamstring with less than a minute played and with the wind at their backs, their hopes of building an early lead appeared to have suffered an early set-back.
Both teams struggled with the wind during the opening stages and the contest was eight minutes old before the opening score was registered. After being under plenty of pressure Leitrim scored with their first attack of note. Nathan Conboy and Cathal McCauley combined well to release Kevin Shanley who made light of the string breeze to strike for a fine point.
Galway would no doubt have been looking for a quick reply and to their credit they hit back with points in quick succession from Conal Ó Hiarnan and a free from Matthew Barrett gave the Tribesmen the lead for the first time.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.