Leitrim U17s head to Castlebar tonight (Wednesday) for Connacht Championship but only after a fixture fiasco that has left the Green & Gold severely understrength.
Leitrim face Mayo in the first round of the new Connacht U17 Championship in Elvery's MacHale Park tonight at 8 pm minus four players after they were refused a postponement of the game by Mayo GAA and the Connacht Council.
The game was originally fixed for Friday, May 4, but with six members of the panel travelling to New York for Sunday's Connacht Championship game, Leitrim sought a deferment of the game.
Considering that Leitrim's next game is not until June 23, and there are no games in the fixture list past Friday, May 11, Leitrim officials were hopeful that the game could be changed.
However, the Observer understands that Mayo initially refused to change the game and after intervention, agreed to move the game to tonight (Wednesday). Unfortunately that still rules out four members of the panel who are travelling to New York.
The decision to move the game also caused huge disruption for the Leitrim U17 Hurling team who were due to open their Celtic Challenge campaign tonight against Cavan in Ballinamore.
With five members of the football panel also on the Leitrim Hurling squad, it looked as if both teams would be severely weakened but the intervention of officials from Croke Park ensured that the Hurling game was refixed for Wednesday May 30, although it is believed that the Mayo hurling team is also affected by the change.
It is hardly the ideal preparation for Leitrim who then have a seven and a half week wait until they play their second game against Roscommon.