BACK to BASICS
For Leitrim it is good bye to the All Ireland Championship and back to the more mundane matters of our own club activity.
Saturday was a chastening day for us, a complete contrast to the evening in Markievicz Park, when we captured our first FBD title and eagerly looked forward to the Connacht Championship game in gaelic Park, with another visit to the Big Apple guaranteed for later in the year. On that evening we cheered, applauded, hugged and kissed in euphoric joy. The best, we felt, was yet to come. A spot in the Connacht Final looked within our grasp, but feet were kept on the ground.
Emotions were very different on Saturday in Páirc Seán MacDiarmada when the relief of the final whistle came. There was no back-slapping or eyes on the next day out, but it was good to see so many, kids especially, run on to the pitch to meet the players in the green and gold, because they are still our heroes. Armagh supporters did likewise, but they could bask in their success and wonder who the next qualifier draw would throw up.
The visitors did not go easy on, even when victory was long beyond doubt, they still wanted to rattle the net. But they were playing with a full hand, absences or injuries had not taken a toll like it had with Leitrim. Both sets of players had trained in the same manner, made the same sacrifices and wore their county jersey with pride. Everyone involved with the teams had played their part too. The only difference was on the scoreboard. We should remember that.
Our club championship now looms and the Leitrim players go back into training, no easy task. They gave of their all on Saturday, every last man on the panel. No doubt they will do likewise for their club jersey.
14-Jul-13 by Tommy Moran