After seeing his side emerge with a two point win in Greystones on Sunday last, Leitrim manager Niall Kilcrann was happy to have got the Intermediate All-Ireland Championship campaign off to a winning start but he was equally pleased to have been finally able to put to bed the agony of his side’s last minute defeat to Sligo in the Connacht Championship seven days earlier.
The significance of the win over Wicklow was explained by Niall who said, “The heartache of last week’s defeat is only after being quenched five minutes ago when we got that win.
“We were very annoyed as a management team, disappointed more so but it’s over we’re going to draw a line in the sand under that. The Connacht Championship is no longer a feature for us.”
Although the manner of the win wasn’t always convincing Niall was pleased to have travelled away from home emerged victorious. “We’re doing this year what we didn’t do so much last year and that’s winning games on the road. Coming down here to Greystones, where they beat us in the league last year in the league by a point and we got the better of them by two today.
“I’m delighted with the win, I also know we have an awful lot to work on. We played some good football but we could have been out of sight but we’ll work on that during the week.”
While several players shone for Leitrim, it could be argued that they key was the return of Roisin Fowley who was introduced at half-time and proved too good for the Wicklow defence to cope with.
Praising the contribution of the Dromahair player Niall noted, “Roisin Fowley picked up where she left off year in an All-Ireland semi-final.When Roisin comes in she’s going to do a job, she’s coming back from doing the Leaving Cert and for her that had to come first. Niamh Tighe came in and scored a vital point and Ciara McWeeney as well.
“The subs definitely have made an impact but I think you’ll agree during the league as well they’ve made an impact as well. It’s one good thing, we have a bench and we have impact subs that will come on and change the game for us.
“I’m delighted for Roisin because that’s what she can do and she’s a talent that any county would be proud to have and I’m definitely proud to have her in my team.”
While pleased to have made a winning start to the Championship, Niall was already looking ahead to the next game in the Championship against near neighbours Fermanagh.
“It’s a great start, maybe there was a lock of cobwebs that needed to be pushed off from last weekend. We have a break next weekend and that’s good because we have a good lot of injuries that need to be sorted and I want to give them time to get them out of the way.
“It is a good start but just like today, we know we’re not going to win every game handy, we know we’re going to have to fight for every game and that was a fight. Up against Fermanagh everybody will be looking at that as the toughest game in the group and we have them in Ballinamore.
“That’s our next objective, we have a lot to work on and we will work on it and with Fermanagh coming to Ballinamore, it’s the only home game in the Championship and hopefully we’ll do the goods there for the Leitrim supporters.