GAA Allianz NFL Division 4

Harbinson sees vast Leitrim improvement in past year

John Connolly


John Connolly


Harbinson sees vast Leitrim improvement in past year

Antrim's Ryan Murray tries to break free of the challenge of Micheal McWeeny last Sunday Picture: Willie Donnellan

Antrim manager Lenny Harbinson might have felt a draw would have been a fair result but there was no doubting he was impressed with Leitrim's progression over the past 12 months.

The Saffrons beat Leitrim by ten points in Belfast last year but fell to a one point loss in Carrick last Sunday, prompting Harbinson to say “You have to credit there has been a big improvement in Leitrim from what I’ve seen today versus last year.”

In fairness to Harbinson, his team were fighting for victory right to the end and it has been small margins that have plagued his team. “Conditions were difficult for both sides and both sides put a massive effort and possibly a draw would have been a fair result on the day.

“We have been very unfortunate - the first day out we probably should have had a draw against Derry, last week we were well in control of the game and it was one that got away from us. Today was something similar - we felt there was a few times we made crucial decisions at the wrong time.”

The Antrim manager didn't want to make a big issue of the refereeing but was perplexed at some of the decision. “There was a lot of decisions, for both teams, that you’d have to scratch your head and wonder why he was giving out so many cards and why sometimes what seemed a free wasn’t a free.”

Antrim may have suffered three defeats but Harbinson is still not giving up on being involved in the promotion battle - “It is going to be very, very difficult now. We targeted this game for a win which we were very capable of today and I still believe there are a few twists and turns in this League. But certainly the hill is massively steep for us now.”