Having seen his side overcome the challenge of a spirited and talented Roscommon team Leitrim manager Pat Costello was quick to pay tribute to his players and having secured their place in the Connacht Intermediate Championship Pat believes his players will rise to the challenge of trying to defend their title.
Reflecting on the win over Roscommon Pat acknowledged the performance may not have been without fault but was adamant the result was ultimately all that was important.
“Connacht semi-finals are all about getting over the line and getting into the final and we’re happy with that.”
Two first half goals laid the foundation for Leitrim’s success with Pat agreeing those scores were crucial when Roscommon applied plenty of pressure in the second half.
“I think that was to stand to us at the finish. I think the two goals at the start gave us a bit of a cushion when they did come back. Every team is always going to have a purple patch but we knew they were going to have a couple of purple patches.
“It was tough going, I think the scoreboard played a part in terms of mind games with Roscommon. They thought they needed a goal but if they went for points they might have got level.”
Pat also had reason to be pleased with his side’s accuracy in front of goal, the second half was almost 15 minutes old before Leitrim registered their first wide of the game.
“We have done a lot of work on our shooting and 2-12 is a good score. Obviously 0-17 is a good score as well but goals win matches and that was the difference in the end. They came at great times, the second one in particular. Our backs were to the wall and it gave us that cushion.”
Paying credit to the resolve within his team Pat stated, “They fought hard. Sometimes a one point win you might question it but it takes a lot of leadership to stick it out and we’re happy with that.”
Looking ahead to the Final and Leitrim’s fourth meting with Sligo this year Pat insisted it is not necessarily trying to make up for three defeats at the hands of Sligo that will act as a motivation but rather trying to retain their title.
“The motivation is their Connacht medals are on the line. You have two choices, you can fight for it and hold on to it or surrender it and I can’t see these Leitrim women surrendering it that easily.”