After coming so close to silverware in last year’s Leitrim Senior County Championship, St Mary’s wing half forward Robert Lowe is eager to feature in another decider, this time with his county.
After featuring in the last two County Finals, Robert is part a Leitrim panel that will travel to McHale Park to attempt to become the first Leitrim side to reach a Connacht Final since 2000.
“We are playing Mayo in their own back yard and it is a fantastic place to be,” Robert enthuses, “These are the days you are looking forward to and as a gaelic footballer, you can really test yourself against teams like Mayo.
“We are looking to be at our best and Mayo are looking to be the best, they are training to be All-Ireland Champions. I have to say, and the thing about Connacht is that in recent years Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo have all won championships, but Leitrim haven’t won one since 1994.
“We want a share of the spoils and if we beat Mayo it would be a fantastic achievement. But we are looking no further than Mayo and hopefully on the day we can do it.”
Leitrim have a well documented and unfortunate record of never coming away from Castlebar with a victory. The odds may be stacked against George Dugdale and Barney Breen’s panel, but to part of the first panel of players to beat a Mayo side in their own backyard is something Lowe would love to be a part of.
“Castlebar is a very hard place to go and they’ll be looking for the win and maintain their good form. It was a very positive thing to see Sligo beat Galway after Galway’s big win over Roscommon. The manner in which they dispatched Roscommon was impressive and then Sligo beat, which them is something we have to take from.
“Leitrim have to tear into Mayo, we can’t wait for them to hit us first. We have to go at them from throw-in.”
The win over London has emphasised the togetherness and strength in depth of this Leitrim side according to Robert – “We realised we have a strong 15, and there is a good bond amongst the players and we now know we have strength in depth in the way that we have subs that can come on and do a job for us.
“Guys came in, including myself and we all put the shoulder to the wheel. We can all do our individual jobs and it sets up players like Emlyn Mulligan to make the most of scoring chances we create.”
As for being underdogs, Robert believes the tag will suit the Green & Gold – “The thing about the underdog tag, it suits the (Leitrim) mentality sometimes, but it is about us having the correct mentality going into the mayo game.
“If we go in thinking of Connacht Finals, we’ll get beat out the door, so we have to work hard. It is certainly going to be a lot of hard work. I have watched Mayo, they are a formidable outfit. It is going to take a hell of an effort to beat them.”