GAA Allianz NFL Division 4 reaction

It wasn't a beauty pageant or a day for pretty football

Manager Terry Hyland gives his reaction to Leitrim's dramatic one point win over Antrim

Philip Rooney

Reporter:

Philip Rooney

Email:

philip.rooney@leitrimobserver.ie

It wasn't a beauty pageant or a day for pretty football

Leitrim manager Terry Hyland shouts in his instructions Picture: Willie Donnellan

Three wins from three and the Leitrim juggernaut is showing no sign of easing up and in the wake of last Sunday's victory over Antrim, manager Terry Hyland revealed the win was down to the spirit within the team rather than their footballing ability.

“Today was probably more about grit and grinding out the result and we said that before we went out, we knew what type of a game we would be in,” was Terry's initial assessment of his side's performance.

While delighted with the win, Terry was all too aware that his side had survived a real scare and could have trailed by much more than just a solitary goal at the interval.

Paying tribute to his opponents Terry said: “Antrim are a very technically set-up team. They run the ball; they run in twos and threes and they come at you and you have to be very careful not to step out or you will be caught as we did in the first 10 minutes.

“We could have conceded three goals in the first 10 minutes and we were lucky enough we got points off them.”

Leitrim's storming second half displays have been a theme of their three league games to date and Terry is anxious they start to perform earlier in matches.

“We were very poor in that opening period and it is something we need to correct because we have been like that in the three games to date. We have always had a good finish to the first half and we have had good second halves but unfortunately there can come a day where that won’t happen for you so they are things we need to work on going forward.”

A gale force wind and driving rain made for extremely difficult conditions and while loathe to make excuses, Terry acknowledged that it was not have been a day for the purists.

“It was a terrible day for playing football. Is suppose 14 points is a decent return on a day like that. As the game progressed the game actually got progressively worse.

“When we landed here about 12pm it wasn’t that bad but as the day went on, it gave a wind warning but look at the end of the day it is a game of football and you have to accept that the elements are what they are and you have to play them to your advantage if you can but don’t make an excuse out of it.

“It’s not a beauty pageant, it’s about winning and that’s what we told them at half-time. We don’t need to be leading the game five or 10 minutes into the second half, we just needed to be ahead at the end and we were and we got the result and we are thankful for that.”

Expectations are growing among the Leitrim faithful as the team sit at the summit of division four but there is no sign of Terry getting carried away and he is certainly not making any grand predictions regarding the ultimate outcome of the league.

“Anything can happen between now and the end of the league. We can only just prepare for the next game and make sure we put that one away.

“We are back on the road again and that is probably one of the down sides of this division four. There is long treks for all your away games which makes preparation maybe a little more difficult but we will work around that.”