Leitrim Ladies Notes:
[b]TG4 Connacht Championship Final:[/b]
After seven long years and contesting six finals Leitrim finally got back on top again when Ann Marie Cox lifted the Flanagan Oil Cup on behalf of her very proud teammates at 3.20pm on Sunday afternoon in McHale Park, Castlebar. To all outside the camp, no one could see past a Sligo win ? the form book could only have Sligo odds on to win. In May Leitrim played Sligo in the second round of the Championship and while Leitrim played well for 20 minutes, Sligo again dominated and ran out comfortable winners. But within the camp there was a quiet confidence and determination. A good win in the semi final against Galway four weeks ago helped repair the damage. The heart breaking National league defeat to Clare and the hurt of the past years could all be erased in 60 minutes but it would take all of the courage and determination that the girls could summon and how they did. Playing into a very difficult wind in the first half, Leitrim struck early but it was obvious that Sligo were not going to relinquish their title easily. Four points behind at the break was acceptable with the benefit of the wind in the secondhalf and the mood at half time was good. Things disimproved as Sligo went into a commanding six point lead as the half progressed. Then Leitrim found the courage to dig deeper and chip away at the Sligo lead. As the countdown clock ticked closer to 0.00 a goal would have to come Leitrim?s way to make that final push. A penalty decided it. Captain Ann Marie Cox stepped up and shouldered the responsibility with a brilliant effort. The sides were level and all to play for. Sligo went ahead again but Leitrim responded. Only minutes left and up stepped Sinead Quinn with a wonderful effort to put Leitrim ahead. Over a minute to go and Sligo had one more attack ? then a Scórable free was awarded. They decided to go for broke and looked for a goal for the win. The discipline and effort put into defending the goal was incredible and forced the Sligo attack into going for the draw but the pressure forced an eventual shot wide. Ten seconds on the clock and the subs were making their way down the steps towards the field ? the fulltime hooter went but no one heard it such was the noise of celebration. Management were still shouting instructions to the defence when they realised it was all over as the players fell to their knees in celebration. The tears flowed as they had for the past number of years but this time in celebration. A great result for a wonderful bunch of players who gave everything they had to secure the win. A special word of congratulations to the eleven players who did not get a chance to play on Sunday and who put in the same huge effort all year ? there would be no trophy without them. With a great reception in Cox?s of Dromod the team moved on to Carrick where the game was shown in Paddy?s Bar ? the celebrations lasted long into the night of a day to remember.
[b]Player of the Match:[/b]
There was a double celebration for Leitrim as the peerless Maeve Quinn was voted Player of the match. In a panel of many heroes, Maeve?s workrate all day epitomised the efforts of her team mates and a worthy winner of the award.
[b]Supporters:[/b]A special word of thanks to all of the supporters who came to support Leitrim on Sunday. Their very vocal support in the final quarter of the game was the sixteenth player for the Leitrim team and undoubtedly lifted the team over the winning line. More of the same in three weeks time would be very much appreciated. Thanks also to all the good luck messages and messages of congratulations sent to the team.
[b]All Ireland Quarter Finals:[/b]
The draw for the All Ireland quarter finals will take place live on TG4 at 5.00pm on Sunday from the Galway races. The winners from each province will play the losing quarter finalists from another province. Should Leitrim progress to the semi final, they are due to play the Ulster Champions if they are also successful in their quarter final match or whoever defeats them if they lose. With the Clare defeating Limerick in the Munster final on Sunday last, Leitrims potential opponents are Limerick, Longford or Wexford from Leinster or Cavan or Fermanagh from Ulster. Both Leinster and Ulster Finals are on next Sunday. The quarter finals will take place in three weeks on Sunday 20th August and the semi final on Saturday 9th September. Anyone interested in providing sponsorship towards the expenses of the quarter final game should contact Geraldine Cremer at 086 3290256.
[b]Finance & Sponsorship:[/b]
All entries are currently being checked for a winner of the ?500 prize in the Guess the score competition. Thanks to all of the players and clubs for selling the lines and of course to everyone that supported the draw. Thanks to George Manek for organising the sponsorship of a set of polo shirts for the Leitrim team for Sunday last. Thanks also to the mens county board for their sponsorship of a set of bags for the players. Anyone interested in providing sponsorship towards the expenses of the quarter final game should contact Geraldine Cremer at 086 3290256. All donations will be gratefully accepted.
[b]Junior A Championship Final: [/b]
The first club championship final of the year will be decided next weekend whenÓglencar Manor take on Ballinaglera in the Junior A final on Sunday evening at 7.45pm in Shane McGettigan Park, Drumshanbo.. Ballinaglera narrowly missed out on the title last year as they were defeated by the narrowest of margins to St Josephs in a thrilling encounter. Meanwhile Glencar Manor were blazing a trail in Junior B and recorded a comfortable title against Sean O?Heslins. Both teams have a number of experienced players to call on, as Ballinaglera?s Louise Loughlin will get a change from minding the Leitrim net to play a pivotal role outfield. She will be joined by excellent midfielder Ailish Curnyn while Tanya McPartland, Mairead McCawley, Katy Gallagher and Linda McGourty will all have an important role inÓgleras attempt to break through to senior ranks by lifting the title. Glencar Manor can also call on county players, Amanda Sweeney, Camilla McDonagh and Michelle McNulty and they will be ably assisted by players like Janette Maguire, Lauraine Walpole and Aisling Kerrigan
The defining game of the Intermediate championship will take place on Saturday evening next when Mohill face Kiltubrid at 7.00pm in Fenagh with the winner qualifying to play Cloone in the Final. Also on Sunday, Bornacoola play Annaduff and Cloone play Aughawillan in the remaining round of fixtures.
[b]Change of Dates for Championship:[/b]
Due to the All Ireland quarter final on 20th August all games scheduled for that weekend have been refixed for 26th/27th August including the Intermediate Championship Final.
[b]Under 14 7 a Side Shield Final:[/b]
Congratulations to Aughawillan who made a great comeback in the second half to defeat Melvin Gaels by a single point in the final at a rain soaked Ballinaglera on Saurday afternoon. The final score was Aughawillan 2.07 Melvin Gaels 2.06.
[b]9 a Side Junior Final:[/b]
Congratulations to Sean O Heslins who defeated Fenagh in the final in Aughavas on Saturday evening. Full report next week.
The championship has reached the semi final stages as St Josephs played Dromahair yesterday evening in the first semi final. The second semi final will be played next Tuesday evening. In the 9 a side competition, Aughawillan, Ballinaglera and Kiltubrid have qualified for the semi finals with the winners of the Sean O Heslins Allen Gaels game also played yesterday evening.
[b]Under 12 Championship.[/b]
The final of the Championship will be played this evening betweenÓglencar Manor and St Josephs in Ballinaglera at 7.00pm. In the 9 a side competition Fenagh and Gortlettragh have qualified for the final and will be played in 2 ? 3 weeks time. There are two rounds to be completed in the 7 a side competition.
[b]Under 16 Championship:[/b]
All entries are now due as the competitions commences on 24th August.
[b]Tommy Murphy Cup:[/b]
Congratulations to the mens team on an excellent win over holders Tipperary in the quarter final on Saturday. Its now August and two Leitrim teams are within a total of three games of playing in Croke Park – 2006 could yet be a year to remember.
01-Aug-06 by Patricia Bohan