A look back at the sporting highlights of 2019 with Clare Owens

Clare Owens

Reporter:

Clare Owens

A look back at the sporting highlights of 2019 with Clare Owens

Highlight of the Year


It's hard to choose just one. Reaching a Connacht final for the first time ever as a club, winning the county title for the third time in a row in what was a very competitive championship and maintaining Intermediate status with Leitrim Ladies are all up there. The amount of supporters who sent well wishes our way and travelled to our club championship matches this year really was phenomenal and meant so much to each and everyone one of us.

Personality of the Year


Aidan Heron, the county chairperson. In what was a testing year for all involved, Aidan was ever-present with a smile on his face and a joke to share. He provided the food for us after training, washed the jerseys and I’m sure did plenty of other unnoticed work too. Aidan sets a high standard in everything he does. He seems determined to help ladies football in Leitrim to reach those standards too. I admire and applaud his tireless efforts and consider every ladies player in Leitrim very lucky to have him at the helm.

Team of the Year
I could pick several. Nationally, the Irish hockey team have been wonderful to watch. More locally, the heart and resilience shown by a small but committed bunch of girls who represented Leitrim Ladies this year and of course it was fantastic to see both the Leitrim hurlers and footballers represent our county in Croke Park too.

Best Occasion
Shane Lowry's winning the Open really felt like a win for all of Ireland, a great occasion and a great reason to celebrate a wonderful sportsperson. For me personally I think it has to be our club Connacht quarter final against Kilmore Moy. It was a very low key occasion in many ways over in Ballina. We didn't start the game well so really I am taking about just thirty minutes of football. Everything just started to flow really nicely for us and we took confidence from that. Definitely one of the best games or halves of football I’ve ever had the honour and privilege to be a part of.

Lowlight of the Year


Fighting relegation with Leitrim Ladies but this turned out to be a major highlight of the year in the end really. We managed to maintain Intermediate status by beating Wicklow when the odds were hugely stacked against us.
A triumph over adversity if ever there was one in sporting terms! I am incredibly proud of that panel of players and appreciative of Danny Clarke who managed the team almost single-handedly for most of the 2019 season.

What are you looking forward to in 2020?


Club ladies football in Leitrim was of a really high standard across all grades this year, in my opinion. This bodes well for not only the club scene, but the county one too. The County Board has put serious work into the underage set-ups and already having a new management in place for the coming season. Regardless of results in 2020,we've come a long way since even this time last year.

One to Watch in 2020?
Aine Tighe. She's already shown what a talent she is at club, county and college here and she's about to do it internationally now too with the ladies Australian rules game.
It is an interesting time for the ladies Gaelic game here in Ireland I think, considering how many footballers have signed contracts in Australia in the recent past. All of the many skills Aine has as a Gaelic footballer skills will transfer very well to the Australian game I think so she's definitely one to watch for 2020.