Allianz NHL Division 3B

Leitrim hurlers on the brink of league final place

John Connolly


John Connolly

Leitrim hurlers on the brink of league final place

Leitrim hurlers are on the brink of another national final after they showed great mettle to overcome a dogged Fermanagh last Sunday in Irvinestown.

Leitrim hurlers chances of contesting another National Final after last year's Lory Meagher Cup exploits is very real after the 2-12 to 1-11 victory over Fermanagh. The hurlers have one game left to play against a Cavan team who have yet to win a game in the League campaign.

In theory, both Sligo and Fermanagh can catch Martin Cunniffe's team and join them on six points but as both teams meet in the last round and both need the win to force a playoff if Leitrim win against Cavan on Sunday March 4, in Ballinamore, it appears Leitrim have a massive advantage.

With victories over both teams so far, Leitrim hurlers are in pole position thanks to the head to head tiebreaker over both their neighbours.

There is one small fly in the ointment - a Sligo win over Lancashire next Saturday in Markievicz Park could yet open the door to a three way tie at the top of the table! And both Sligo and Lancashire have much better scoring differences.

Of course, a Lancashire win would mean Sligo could not catch Leitrim and as the Green & Gold hurlers have the head to head against Fermanagh, victory over Cavan would ensure a place in the League Final.

The hurlers cause was boosted last Sunday by the availability of Leitrim footballer Colm Moreton who scored a crucial goal during the first half against Fermanagh.

Moreton, who has been involved in all of the county's football outings in 2018, could yet be involved in the hurler's next game as the footballers take on London on Saturday, March 3, with the hurlers at home against Cavan in Ballinamore on the Sunday.

Leitrim Ladies made their return to the football field last Sunday and it was a tough one as Offaly, previously without a win, scored a 5-15 to 2-5 victory in St. Loman's Mullingar after Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada was once again ruled unplayable.

With a very young team, Leitrim were well in contention and were only a point in arrears with 20 minutes but understandably with little or no training over the past few weeks, the midlanders ran riot as Leitrim tired after an injury sustained by Eimhin Quinn.

Leitrim men return to action next Sunday in the NFL when they play host to Limerick in Carrick (2pm throw-in) and with both counties seeking a first win, it could yet turn out to be the most important game of the campaign as Brendan Guckian's side look to build momentum ahead of New York in early May.