Race for the Park We are having our fair share of Opinion Polls about the race for the Park. Ultimately, the people will decide very shortly and there will be a new name on the door of the Ãras. In the run up to last Sundays Preliminary Rounds of the AIB Connacht Intermediate and Senior Championship games in Pairc Sean, local GAA opinion polls would have forecast a Leitrim double. Unfortunately the Leitrim public did not have the opportunity to decide the winners, it had to be sorted on the field. Melvin Gaels did deliver and in style, with established stars like Man of the Match Emyln Mulligan blending with new kids on the block like the highly impressive Peter McGowan to do the business for Kinlough and for Leitrim. Their march to Connacht glory has certainly begun on a high note, with the added bonus of a Leitrim home venue for the Semi-final clash with the Mayo champions Davitts. Undoubtedly that will be a major hurdle to overcome, but the hunger for a Connacht title will surely spur on the Gaels, so the noses will be to the grindstone until Sunday November 6th, when the whole county will rally to the support of the men in blue and white. Achieving four county senior titles in a row is no mean feat, so it looked fairly odds on for Glencar Manorhamilton to get the better of Sligo champions Tourlestrane and earn another tilt at St. Brigids of Roscommon. But form seemed to go out the window and despite the promptings of the large home support, Manor only seemed to perform in fits and starts and we saw just flashes of the free-flowing play of many other displays. Things looked good when six points up, but Tourlestrane showed every bit as much hunger for success as the Leitrim champions did and nobody could complain about the end result. The inquests will go on around the Market Square in the coming days, but nothing can detract from what has been achieved by the players to date, so any disappointment will have to be tinged with respect and acknowledgement for the massive efforts of all concerned. The half time score relayed from Hyde Park that Leitrim Gaels Juniors were level with Creggs lifted Leitrim hearts and hopes of a possible treble on the day, but it was not to be, as Creggs held out for a three point victory. So the race for the Park – for Croke park – is now in the sole hands of Melvin Gaels. Opinion polls may fancy them, but the Gaels realise only too well that what matters is what happens the next day and the day after and the day after that again. It is a long road, with the next test on 30th October. Go n-Ã©irÃ libh, Gaeil na Meilge.
17-Oct-11 by Tommy Moran