Under the Radar

In the weeks after the Sligo game Leitrim was very much in the spotlight, but now we are certainly back under the radar.
Nobody gives us a chance in the Qualifiers; we are written off; no hopers; doesn’€’t matter who we draw; the performance in Markievizc Park was a flash in the pan; Sligo must have been useless.
The nÓgativity is nearly contagious.
What a change from a few weeks ago when every Leitrim supporter stuck out his chest and couldn’€’t wait to see the Rossies get their come-uppance in Carrick. We’€’d show them and about time too.
This feel-good factor caught on nationally. Here was the makings of a great news story. Radio, TV, GAA journalists, feature writers, all wanted a slice of the action; none of them wanted to miss the boat in case Leitrim cruised into a Connacht Final.
Internationally, there was a buzz also. Phone lines, e-mails, texts, facebook, twitter and what have you were all busy. People who were a lifetime gone from the county and the current generation of emigrants, were all making plans, whether to be up early in New York or not to go to bed in Sydney on Sunday June 12th, because they didn’€’t want to miss Leitrim playing live on RTE. Not just highlights, the whole nine yards; for a pleasant change, we were the featured TV match. This was going to be Leitrim’€’s day in every sense of the word.
There was a pep in every step in the county, the recession was the last of our worries, all we talked about was the great win in Sligo and how the team had performed to a man. It was a great three weeks, the lift the GAA in the county needed, we had won a Championship game ‘€’ nobody went crazy talking about All Irelands, we just prayed we’€’d get to another Connacht Final, the team deserved that much, the supporters were happy and upbeat.
Some people say now it would have been better if we had to lose to Sligo. Rubbish. Nobody can take away that victory, nor the quality of play with which it was earned. How could it be better to have lost? For God’€’s sake, are we not bemoaning lost chances long enough? Putting up a good show and being beaten is not the way to go. Of course it was great to beat Sligo.
The RoscommonÓgame was admittedly a disappointment. We can wonder till doomsday about what might have happened if we had elected to play with the elements in the first half. With the wind behind us we might have started better, got a few early scores and then have got the chants of ‘€’Leitrim, Leitrim’€’ behind us also. As it was, the Leitrim supporters never really got into the game ‘€’ a charge we readily make against the players!

These same players that we back-slapped in Markievicz and that we might have disparaged in Pairc Sean, are still in training, hard as ever. That’€’s how it goes, they can’€’t switch off like supporters can. They are working their socks off, preparing for the Qualifiers.
Maybe it’€’s all the better there is little fuss. You never know what might happen if we sneak in under the radar again.



26-Jun-11 by Tommy Moran