Leitrim Minor manager Adrian Dockery chats after the Connacht Minor Shield Final Picture: Willie Donnellan
Trying to figure out where it went wrong for Leitrim last Friday in the Electric Ireland Connacht Minor Shield Final in Dr Hyde Park is going to take some time if the words of a clearly frustrated Adrian Dockery are anything to go by.
The Leitrim manager was at a loss to explain what went wrong last Friday: “That’s the frustrating part, if you go into the dressing room and talk to the lads, that is the frustrating part for them. Even playing as poorly as we did in the first half and still being two points down, we came in feeling we could make the adjustments and there was loads left in us.
“We had shades of the Mayo game in the first half where we were winning the ball, kicking it back straight away but there were still a few flashes of what we’re capable of but we just needed that little bit of composure. That’s football - it is a cruel mistress.
“We were scrimping and scraping to find our rhythm. From talking to a few of them in there, that was the frustrating part, that we didn’t play the football that we’re capable of playing but that is the challenge for everyone, it happens at adult level where you learn a few tricks that help you find your consistency and stay in games a little bit longer.”
Adrian felt that the failure to take chances cost the Green & Gold dearly with Roscommon’s second goal coming seconds after Leitrim missed a gilt edged chance at the other end: “We had a goal chance, keeper made a great save, they went down the length of the field and put it in the back of the net, a six point swing and I think we got sucker punched again maybe straight after.
“I would say that if they had maybe five goal chances, they took four. We had maybe about the same and took one. If I’m being honest with you, that has been the case all year, we’ve been living or dying by it - it is like three point shooting in basketball, when they go in, you’re in with a great shout but when they’re not, it is a long day.”
Looking back over the entire campaign, Adrian sees reasons to be positive: “Bit disappointed it ended on such a flat note but taking the broader perspective, it has been a net positive I would argue.
“We played a number of Fr Manning Cup games before Christmas and then got together as a group properly and trained from January. The cliche is the journey we’ve been on, the development of lads - great to be a part of, an honour to be part of really.
“Huge thanks to everybody involved. I’ll definitely leave someone out - Conor Harte, Ray McBrien, Shane King, Denis Dolan, James Boyle, Denise Stenson in with us on nutrition, Dave McHugh with us on sport psychology and mental skills, Thomas Keenan and all the lads in the Games Promotion, Brendan Delaney, Cormac Haslem, James Mitchell, Enda Lyons last year, we had Brian Mulvey last year, my neighbours Ronan O’Rourke, Brian Blake, the County Board have been brilliant, Paul Murphy so we have had huge support and I’m really, really grateful for that.
“Parents of the lads of course. We’ve had parents dragging lads to every end of the country, we’ve played challenges in every end of the country and they’ve been coming to support us.”
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