Four wins out of four and top of the Tesco Homegrown NFL Division 3 is exactly where Leitrim manager Gerry Ballantine would want his side to be but while he was pleased with last Sunday’s victory over Sligo and many aspects of the performance, Gerry is all too aware that there is still room for improvement.
The strong running game implemented by Leitrim that often saw them play a series of short passes out of defence before going on the attack proved to be very effective and what particularly pleased Gerry was the intensity his side played with.
“The most pleasing aspect was that we stuck to the intensity that we are trying to produce for the whole game and we didn’t drop it. We knew that Sligo would come back at us, no matter how far we pulled away, that they would come back like they did and in truth we probably had to kick on at least three times in that game to win it.”
The opening 10 minutes of Leitrim’s display were particularly impressive as they registered 3-3 before Sligo managed to score their first point and Gerry acknowledged the importance of a good start was emphasised before the game.
“We had talked about the start at length because we got such a bad start against Tipperary and had to come back from 11 points. We were concentrating on getting a good start so that we could stay in the game and not have to make up the big difference.”
While understandably pleased with the result, Gerry was adamant there is room for improvement fro his side. “We know there is not 13 points between the sides but perhaps we just got the goals on the day that made the difference.
“There are some aspects of it defensive wise that we will have to look at, the concession of two penalties and a lot of frees that we will really have to tighten up on.”
Looking ahead to the remaining games in the division, Gerry feels Leitrim have yet to play the stronger sides but acknowledged it is pleasing to sitting undefeated at the top of the table.
“We have probably played the weaker part of the division but it is great to get the results and to be where we are in the table. It gives us a little bit of a cushion but there are tough games to come with Armagh, Down and Longford, all three of whom have beaten Sligo, they really are going got be tough games.”