For the first time since they won the title in 2007, Leitrim Ladies set their sights on the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate crown when they take on neighbours Roscommon in the first round of Group A next Sunday in Tuam (2.00 throw-in).
Leitrim and Roscommon meetings were two a penny some years ago with the teams meeting continuously as they fought for Connacht and All-Ireland supremacy at Junior level. Roscommon got there first, winning the Junior crown before Leitrim reached the promised land themselves four years ago.
Both teams’ fortunes slid heavily after their All-Ireland triumphs, Leitrim failing to field in the 2008 championship and Roscommon falling back to the Junior ranks but both will be hoping for better days in the years ahead with Roscommon contesting the Provincial Minor A Final last Saturday.
The meeting between the traditional rivals on Sunday is just the start of a four match campaign over the next five weeks with Leitrim due to take on Antrim, Limerick and London with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the semi-finals.
Leitrim would appear to be in the slightly easier group as only Limerick play Division 3 football along with Leitrim while Roscommon and Antrim have been plying their trade in Division 4, Roscommon finishing second in the last League campaign and Antrim well behind in the race for promotion.
Group B features some of Leitrim’s Division 3 rivals in Fermanagh and Longford and Division 4 winners Westmeath but the main stumbling blocks to glory later in the year is likely to come from Division 2 team Cavan and Waterford, but any of the five will prove dangerous opposition should Leitrim advance to the knock-out stages.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.