Speaking to the Leitrim Observer after Leitrim Ladies 1-11 to 0-7 points win over Down at St Tiernach’s Park in Clones, Leitrim boss Niall Kilcrann was pleased with his team’s professionalism throughout the 60 minutes of play.
The win means Kilcrann’s girls will now face last year’s All-Ireland Intermediate Champions Westmeath in Parnell Park on Saturday, May 12, in the Bord Gais Ladies National Football League Division 3 decider and the Kilglass Gaels man spoke of his pride after the win.
“We prepared well for two weeks before this game and this is where these girls want to be. We also had a stiff breeze to contend with throughout but we worked through it. These are a tremendous bunch of players and it would be fitting and deserving for them to bring a title back to Leitrim.”
Leitrim had previously met Down in Ballinamore on the first weekend of February in the opening round of their Bord Gais Division 3 campaign. The home side came out clear winners that afternoon with a 16 point win, but Niall knew prior to Sunday’s clash that this Down challenge would be a different prospect. “We knew Down would be a totally different side today. There’s a reason why they progressed to this stage and they were always going to make it that bit tougher for us. They pushed us all the way and were really up for it.”
Leitrim lead by six points at the break after a first half in which they largely controlled. Niall says he knew the backlash his team would have to expect going into the second period, as Down looked to get back into the game and also commented on the importance of the strength in depth that his side has. “At half time, we spoke in the dressing room about the importance of the opening minutes of the second half and Down came out all guns blazing. It wasn’t until we introduced a few subs to the game that it freshened us up and we really got going and pulled away.”
Leitrim now face Westmeath in Dublin next Saturday, a team they beat by three points during the league campaign only two months ago. Looking ahead to the final, the Leitrim supremo commented: “We beat them (Westmeath) earlier this year but that does not mean much right now. This is where the girls deserve to be and now the work begins for next Saturday week.”