Yesterday was a day to savour and remember for Leitrim GAA players and supporters as the team gained promotion from Division 4 of the Allianz National Football and secured a place in the league final where they will meet Derry in Croke Parke on Saturday, March 30.
The excitement was growing in the week leading up to the game with Marty Morrissey's feature on the team gaining a hugely positive reaction after it was aired on Friday's six one news.
The outcome of other fixtures on Saturday evening meant Leitrim knew a draw against the exiles would be enough to secure promotion with the anticipation growing as throw-in drew every closer.
When the final whistle sounded to confirm Leitrim's fifth successive victory and their promotion to Division three, there were great scenes of celebration in Avantcard Pairc Sean MacDiarmada.
There was an outpouring of emotion on the pitch and online as players, supporters and well wishers savoured the moment.
The WhatsApp groups are buzzing. The @LeitrimGAA diaspora are booking flights for March 30. Every Leitrim person has a little bounce in their step. Croke Park for only the 2nd time since ‘94 awaits. We’ve had plenty of miserable days, we’ll enjoy the hell out of this one. pic.twitter.com/GhTcWVgQ2E— Paddy McKenna (@PaddyMcKenna) March 3, 2019
Looking forward to hearing the magical chant of 'leetrum, leetrum, leetrum' ring out in Croker at the end of the month— Philip Howard (@philiphowardfit) March 3, 2019
Proud to be involved with @LeitrimGAA today. A long time trying to get in Div 3. #LeitrimGAA #gaa #leitrimrising pic.twitter.com/upawJ5mB2v
A real honour and privilege to have worked with this group of @LeitrimGAA players for the last 16 months, everything asked of them they have done and today they got their reward, more big days like this to come @emlynmulligan @Gazpat87 @SeanMcP @Elquinno7 @EoinWard11 pic.twitter.com/O6YVzxjKAQ— Enda Lyons (@lyonsel1) March 3, 2019
Thrilled for and proud of this great young squad and the management team, and those who soldiered for the past 10 years to get us back to Division 3. #liatroimabú— Colin Regan (@Rego101) March 3, 2019
The success enjoyed by Leitrim this year was also acknowledged by many other counties who were quick to offer their congratulations.
Despite pushing @LeitrimGAA all the way Leitrim win by 5. Congratulations to @LeitrimGAA on securing promotion to Division 3 enjoy the celebrations. We hope we'll have similar success and our moment in the sun in the near future #LondainAbú⚪️ # #WeAreLondon pic.twitter.com/80zI7i2Jzn— Official London GAA (@LondainGAA) March 3, 2019
Well done to our friends in @LeitrimGAA on securing promotion. Great to see— Galway GAA Coaching & Games (@CoachingGalway) March 3, 2019
Congratulations to the @LeitrimGAA players,especially those who have been there over the years like @emlynmulligan There is nothing btn the teams in Division 4, we're working hard everyday, and our day will come soon. Hope today showed people they should take nothing for granted https://t.co/g3WswDhFrX— Ciaran Deely (@CiDeely) March 3, 2019
Congrats from your old sparring partners in Cw !— Carlow GAA (@Carlow_GAA) March 3, 2019
Well done to all, hopefully we’ll renew acquaintances in 2020.....
There was also a huge reaction from Leitrim natives in far flung places eagerly looking forward to a trip home for the final on March 30.
Leitrim are for Croker, if this isn't a valid reason for a visit from Singapore I'm not sure what is! #Division3herewecome— Claire O'Brien (@Claire_Ob) March 3, 2019
@LeitrimGAA Hard to describe the feelings, absolutely over the moon that Leitrim have been promoted to Division 3 and we’re back in Croke Park again after 13 years. Was that confident, I decided to booked the flights home at half time #LeitrimGaa pic.twitter.com/06j12rV0Zb— Brendan Byrne (@BrendanB_94) March 3, 2019
After four weeks of being overlooked in terms of televised coverage, there was an abundance of Leitrim footage on the box this weekend with the game featured on Sunday's news and again on Allianz League Sunday.
Don't miss Wednesday's Leitrim Obsever for full analysis of Sunday's game as well as reaction and some great pictures captured by Willie Donnellan.