While obviously disappointed and frustrated Leitrim manager Gerry Ballantine was frank in his assessment of last Saturday’s game and was quick to pay tribute to Roscommon.
Reflecting on the game Gerry pointed to the 10 minute period when Roscommon were reduced to 14 players after a yellow card was issued to goalkeeper Carol Manning. The resulting penalty went over the bar but even worse from a Leitrim point of view was that Roscommon outscored Leitrim during those 10 minutes.
“We got a point out of it but they ended up two points ahead even when they had a player less on the field. That really was the opportunity for us in the game to drive on.”
While he may have been frustrated with making the most of the numerical advantage, Gerry was pleased with how Leitrim finished the half.
“We got in to half time a point up and we battled back from being two points down in the first half and got back into it. Then the goal at the start of the second half really gave them the momentum and that gave us an uphill task from there on.”
Gerry was particularly impressed with the Roscommon defence but he singled Anna Conlan out for special praise.
“I felt their back line was very good, we really struggled to make any openings and crucially when we did get that opening we didn’t finish it.
“The goals made the difference in the game but we weren’t lacking for effort and I thought Anna Conlan was the outstanding player on the field with the amount of ground she covered for us. We just didn’t have enough punch or bite to punch the holes that we needed to.”
Ultimately Gerry felt the failure to create clear cut chances was a deciding factor and he felt the Roscommon defence deserved praise. “I felt they were the better team because of the way they shut us out,” he said frankly.