An Allianz National Hurling League campaign that started out so promisingly for Leitrim ended in disappointment in Ballinamore last Sunday when Warwickshire easily defeated the home side by ten points.
By Kevin Glancy
Leitrim needed to win by a large margin to have any hope of contesting the divisional final but it was Warwickshire that made sure of victory with a classy forward display.
Leitrim competed well for the first 20 minutes but Warwickshire gradually took control after that and the result was never in the doubt in the end.
While the margin of defeat was not as big as the Fermanagh game, there was still a huge gulf in class between the teams but Leitrim are working hard to make progress with a relatively young and inexperienced squad.
Leitrim manager Martin Cunniffe was pleased overall with his team’s league performances but admitted that they still had lots to work before the championship next month.
“Fermanagh and Warwickshire are a bit ahead of us,” said Martin, “but we are happy enough with the way the team is progressing. It’s all systems go now for the championship. It won’t be easy but we know we can improve for the championship.”
Leitrim started with the surprise choice of Morgan Quinn as goalkeeper and he acquitted himself well throughout with a confident display. The defence in general were under severe pressure all through but Vincent McDermott and Steve Feeney held their own against a fast and skilful Warwickshire forward line.
Midfield struggled to cope after the first quarter but David Poniard still managed two excellent points from play. Upfront Leitrim relied heavily on Clement Cunniffe for scores from frees and Zomaku Moradi was the only forward to score play.
Moradi is a good addition to the Leitrim squad this season and he showed his consistency by scoring in all three league outings.