Connacht Championship starts with a bang

Photo: RTÉ

Easter Sunday it may have been but today saw the first shots fired in this year’s Connacht SFC. The matches in question took place not only outside the province but also outside the country and both turned out to be extremely competitive tussles.

Andy Moran took his Leitrim charges over to McGovern Park in Ruislip where they faced London this afternoon. This fixture has proved a tricky one for visitors at different times over the last decade – Andy himself was instrumental in navigating Mayo away from disaster back in 2011 – and this was never going to be a routine win for Leitrim. In fact, London beat Leitrim by two points in Division Four of the National League earlier this year so they would have had every right to believe they’d be able to back up that result today.

And they very nearly did. Leitrim won at the finish by 3-12 to 2-11 but the visitors’ final goal came in injury time and it arrived after the Exiles had stormed back into the game, scoring 2-1 in a late burst that took them to within a point of their opponents.

Leitrim now progress to the Connacht SFC semi-final where they’ll face the winners of the Mayo/Galway match next Sunday.

Photo: RTÉ

This evening over in Gaelic Park, meanwhile, there was more drama as Sligo struggled for long stretches to shake off New York, eventually – just like Leitrim – prevailing by four points. Like the match in Ruislip, the visitors were narrowly ahead for most of the game but their opponents stuck with them stubbornly and were only a point in arrears coming down the closing stretch.

A point from a free from Niall Madine hauled New York level at the end of normal time. With extra-time beckoning, however, the Yeats County eventually surged clear, notching the final four scores of the game to win by 1-16 to 0-15. They now face Roscommon in the Connacht semi-final.

7 thoughts on “Connacht Championship starts with a bang

  1. I stand corrected but I believe NY would not be permitted to compete proper in the CC if they won today.Am I correct in that assumption?

    At least the games were competitive though today!

    WJ- I know you’re involved with a club in Dublin.

    Question- Are there many immigrant children playing underage or is it basically all Irish children? It’s my understanding that children from Eastern European or African backgrounds typically play soccer and don’t bother with Gaelic games.

  2. Spotlight – I’m not actively involved anymore now the kids are older and I wouldn’t have a full picture of the situation. From what I’ve seen, though, some kids of newly arrived people do play Gaelic games but it wouldn’t be all that widespread, though increasing all the time and higher in proportion in different parts of the city. Soccer is a big draw, in light of its universal appeal, but Gaelic games are so ingrained into the fabric of society in Dublin now that there’s a pull in that direction too and the huge increase in participation by girls over the last twenty years is another factor too. So, short answer – numbers are increasing slowly, soccer is a big factor but it’s a complex picture and is changing all the time.

  3. Jesus, are they at it again? The colours look indistinguishable in that photo WJ. New York have got rid of the red, and Sligo have matched New York’s white. Shorts the same.

  4. I think a lot of the turnovers were the jerseys. It was very hard to tell apart the New York and Sligo players.

  5. Jaysus, I’ve only now looked properly at those jerseys – to my colour-blind eyes the strips are all but identical. Mad stuff, Ted.

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