Category: Archive

New York GAA Leitrim edge toward playoffs

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Leitrim 3-9, Westmeath 2-8

Given the general opinion that Donegal and Tyrone will be two of the sides to reach this season’s senior football Div. 1 playoffs, that still leaves at least four other teams in with a very realistic chance of joining them there.

Two of these sides came face to face today at Gaelic Park on Sunday.

Leitrim have had something of a mixed season so far, but how many times have Leitrim been put down before only to go on to win the championship? The fifth-placed team moved up a little in the table thanks to this win over a Westmeath side that has been playing some fine football this season.

Missing Neville Dunne from the off, Leitrim had a couple of veterans in their side, including the hugely experienced trio of Sean Jones, Mike Brosnan and Mike Joe Hennessy.

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The man who stole the show, however, was forward Peter Lambert, who showed that he was equally adept at playing the ball on the ground or in the air. Leitrim were ahead mostly throughout the tie, always having a slight upper hand over their rivals.

Westmeath did start the tie as the stronger side, however, hitting a couple of early points thanks to Martin Murtagh and Tom Quinn, who ventured upfield from the half back line to register a fine point for his side.

Points from Leitrim’s Cookie Meehan, Tom Brewster and Peter Lambert quickly followed, and a goal from Westmeath’s Garret Bailey really threw the cat among the pigeons.

Lambert hit a goal and two points for Frank Brady’s side before the break, at which time the current champions led by two points.

After the break, both sides attacked, with Leitrim proving to be a little more successful.

Shane King and Damian Gavin proved to have a fine understanding up front for Westmeath, linking well together to hit a couple of points each, but a penalty kick successfully struck by Leitrim’s Brosnan beat Emmet Haughian to boost Leitrim’s lead, following Lambert’s goal a few minutes earlier, which clearly put Leitrim in the driving seat.

A late flurry of scores from Westmeath’s King and Gavin were to bring the tie a little closer, but at the end of the day it was to be Leitrim who gained the hugely crucial two points to keep their playoff hopes very much alive.

Leitrim face two of the lower placed clubs in Monaghan and Cork for their final run-in, whereas Westmeath face the threat of Tyrone and Stamford in their last two games, so it’s all to play for. Seldom have their been so many sides still well within playoff contention having played this amount of games.

Leitrim: Joe Madden, John McGuinness, Kieran Walsh, Malachy McHugh, Mike Joe Hennessy, Mike Brosnan (1-0), Jim Donoghue, John Meehan (0-2), Kieran Traynor (0-1), Tom Brewster (0-1), Dermot Duggan, John Donoghue, Peter Lambert (2-4), Sean Jones, Alan McFadden (0-1). Subs.: Mike Murphy

Westmeath: Emmet Haughian, Frank Kavanagh, Tommy Moriarty, David Bailey, Tom Quinn (0-1), Kenny McKinlay, Collie Mathers, Sam Yore, James Kavanagh, Martin Murtagh (0-1), Garret Bailey (1-0), Barney Healy, David Fitzgerald, Damian Gavin (1-2), Shane King (0-4). Subs.: Mike Healy

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