Goals galore were the order of the day for Leitrim in last Saturday’s Connacht U-14 Ladies Championship game as the home team booked their place in the Provincial B Final with a far from convincing display over a weakened Sligo in Leitrim Village.
Leitrim 9-5 Sligo 5-4
Despite a convincing score-line, the truth was that Leitrim struggled for the entire second half as Sligo camped in their half and actually got within four points with six minutes to go before Leitrim pounced for three late goal to put a gloss on the score-line.
The strong wind obviously played its part in Sligo’s second half dominance but the Yeats women, minus three first choice players including their two midfielders, put a Leitrim team that relied far too heavily on Dearbhaile Beirne to the pin of their collars to grab a victory.
Beirne’s strong runs down the centre were at the heart of Leitrim goal success, the nine goals a startling statistic as the Green & Gold failed to raise a white flag during the second half.
Beirne got good support from Aoife Byrne, Emma McGovern and Nicole McGarry while Catherine Forde & Caroline Doherty held firm when the pressure was on in the second half.
Leitrim started in devastating fashion with two points each from Dearbhaile Beirne and Carla Le Guen and a goal from Emma McGovern. However, two Sligo goals on the break from Leah Kelly and Aimee Cawley Fox shook Leitrim as the home side kicked a lot of poor wides.
Dearbhaile Beirne hit back with a fine goal but the wides continued to mount before Dara Morahan ended a ten minute spell without a score by pointing. That led to a glut of goals before the break with Beirne and Le Guen both finding the net either side of another Fox goal for Sligo, leaving Leitrim 4-5 to 3-0 ahead at the break.
The second half saw Sligo start to take over but despite an early point, a break-away goal for sub Cait Connaughton gave Leitrim a boost. Sligo appeared to hit back with a Megan McCormack goal but Beirne found the net for a third time.
But Sligo were dominating and another Kelly goal and three unanswered points cut the gap back to just four points with less than six minutes to go. Leitrim seemed to trouble but goals from Le Guen (2) and Beirne secured a more comfortable than it looked victory at the final whistle.