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01 Jul 2022

Donnelly takes positives from Antrim draw and sets sights on League semi-finals

Donnelly takes positives from Antrim draw and sets sights on League semi-finals

Michelle Guckian is restrained as she shoots on goal against Antrim Picture: Willie Donnellan

Leitrim might have had to scramble to get a draw against Antrim last Sunday but Hugh Donnelly was delighted with the character his team showed against the Saffrons last Sunday in Ballinamore despite what he felt was a poor performance from his charges.

“Antrim brought everything today, they brought ferocity; they tackled hard; they put us on the back foot and they defended in numbers; and they gave a massive game of it,” said Hugh after the game, “We went down to 14 and we showed a bit of character; and we showed a bit of patience and composure, but probably not enough composure over the 60 minutes.

An inability to hold onto the ball hampered Leitrim: “The main killing issue is the amount of possession we gave away. It was horrendous to be honest. It is something we have been trying to work on and for some reason today our decision making on the ball was very poor.

“But we still came out of it with something and that is credit to the girls and to the guys in the backroom team. We are going to get days like this. If we hadn't worked through this today we wouldn't really know where we are at. It was a massive challenge for which I give full credit to Antrim.”

With the manager choosing to experiment a little and Antrim something of an enigma, Hugh wasn’t quite sure what to expect: “You have to give girls an opportunity. That's why we carry a panel. Make no mistake about it we were very lucky to get out of here with anything and probably to be honest didn't deserve it.

“This was a massive challenge. We knew Antrim were slightly understrength and I was anxious because of that in terms of what Antrim was going to turn up with and also they had come to get the (league) points.

“We were seven or six (points) down at one stage, I think and we came back. Then we went down to 14 players (after Niamh Ryan was sin-binned) and then we came back to level it. Again that's a lot of positives to take out of it.”

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