Darren insists “we’re still on track” in quest for Connacht glory

Darren Sweeney is presented with the Man of the Match award by Connacht Council Chairman Frank Burke last Sunday in Carrick-on-Shannon. Photo by Willie Donnellan
An excellent performance from midfield ensured Darren Sweeney was named man of the match and he insisted the dream is still alive.

An excellent performance from midfield ensured Darren Sweeney was named man of the match and he insisted the dream is still alive.

“That is the ultimate aim, to win Connacht and we’re still on track. There was always going to be obstacles, always going to be ups and downs, we didn’t expect a straight run through.

“They might be slightly disappointed that they were two points up with a couple of minutes to go but it gives them a huge lift for the next day and I have no doubt that the intensity and pace the next day will be even more than it was today.”

Injuries to the likes of Paddy Maguire and Ray Cox tested the strength of the panel and that was further tested when captain Emlyn Mulligan was forced off early. However, Darren was particularly impressed with the manner in which Leitrim coped without the talismanic forward.

“I think we showed a lot of character. People might say we’ve been heavily reliant on Emlyn Mulligan over the last few years and Emlyn has chipped in with some massive performances but it just showed that there is more to this team than Emlyn. There were some huge performances out there, boys well able to take scores.”

Reflecting on the game, Darren was pleased with the manner in which Leitrim overcame various setbacks and insisted the nature of the game came as no surprise to anyone in the Leitrim camp.

“One thing about Leitrim is we will never underestimate London. We were under no illusions, we knew we would have to play for 70 minutes to beat them and we literally had to play for 72/73 minutes that were played.

“When that second goal went in we would have taken a draw any day of the week. We had some big knock backs they got a slightly sloppy goal some might say in the first half. We bounced back well in the second half and again they got in for a very good goal in the second half.”