Saturday 21 October 2017

Low-quality fare of bottom tier no barrier to thrills and passion

Leitrim manager Shane Ward
Leitrim manager Shane Ward
Eugene McGee

Eugene McGee

From the heady heights of Division 1 it was down to earth with a vengeance to have a look at Division 4 teams Leitrim and Longford in Carrick-on-Shannon yesterday.

The strange thing is that despite the difference in class we got an excellent second half and a really dramatic finish that ended in a draw.

Leitrim's new young manager Shane Ward has created a definite style of football for them that seems to have got the best out of a limited selection, as always, in the county.

They were all over their neighbours for three-quarters of the game and at one stage led by 0-11 to 0-6.

But tradition still counts in the GAA world and over the years Longford always feel that they have the beating of Leitrim in these derbies.

Once Longford began to play with a bit of self-belief in the second half they rattled over four unanswered points and throughout the last exciting quarter the thousand or so fans got great value for their money.

When Brian Kavanagh, back to his best form, scored a goal in closing minutes it put Longford a point ahead but Leitrim showed remarkable composure to go downfield to grab the levelling point.

It just proves that while the football quality may be poor in Division 4 there can still be excitement in local derbies in particular, and some fans can even get very annoyed with the referee, as happened with a disputed point yesterday.

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