We’re back in Connacht Championship action next Sunday. Our provincial semi-final clash with Leitrim throws in at MacHale Park at 2pm that afternoon and Longford’s Fergal Kelly is reffing it. The match will be broadcast live on RTÉ.
Our recent Championship meetings with Leitrim have been like waiting for the proverbial bus to arrive, in that having not met them for years in Connacht we’re now set to play them for the second time in a provincial SFC clash in just eight months.
We won last November’s game at Carrick-on-Shannon handily enough. To be honest, we’ve generally had an easy enough time playing them in the Championship down through the years as a quick shifty at the results archive shows.
We’ve played them just thirty times in Connacht, winning 24 of those, while we drew with them three times and also lost on three occasions – in 1959, 1976 and 1994. We’ve posted an aggregate score of 85-295 against them, conceding 20-190.
We’ve never lost a Championship match against them on home turf and it would be a shock of fairly seismic proportions were we to do so on Sunday. Our respective form lines this year suggest such an outcome is extremely unlikely.
Leitrim were in Division Four North this year along with Antrim, Louth and Sligo. They lost all of the three games they played.
In the first round they lost to Sligo at Markievicz Park by 2-19 to 0-18. A week later they went under by 0-19 to 0-10 to Louth at Carrick. In Round 3, however, they only lost to Antrim up at Corrigan Park by the bare minimum in a high-scoring 2-17 to 1-19 encounter.
That was, all told, a disappointing League campaign for them, given that Leitrim had been operating in Division Three last year, playing against the likes of Cork, Derry, Down, Offaly and Tipperary. They found that company too hot to handle, though, and, along with Louth, they ended up making the drop to the basement division for this year.
They’ve found the going tough in Connacht too, with their most recent win being over New York, after extra-time at Gaelic Park, back in 2018. They beat London in Ruislip the year before that but you have to go back as far as 2011 for the most recent time they’ve got the better of any of the ‘home’ counties in the province. They defeated Sligo that year by 2-11 to 0-11 in the first round before then falling heavily to Roscommon in the semi-final.
We’re obviously huge favourites to win on Sunday and we’re very likely to do just that. That’s my view at any rate but what do the rest of you think?
Will we beat Leitrim?
- Yes (82%, 450 Votes)
- No (18%, 101 Votes)
Total Voters: 551