After leading Longford Slashers to their third senior title in four years manager Denis Connerton hailed the club’s terrific achievement.
Although delighted to get another county title Connerton admitted that the first win back in 2010 is the one he ranks as the best: “It was brilliant to win today but I believe your first victory is always your greatest and your most difficult one because the club hadn’t won the championship for 16 years. It was great for that bunch of players. The famine is over now and they’re after winning three of the last four. It is a marvellous achievement and must rank up there with some of the best teams that have come out of Longford,” he told the Leader.
The Slashers boss believes his side showed true determination on Sunday as they bounced back from the hurt of last year to claim the title: “They were very determined especially after losing last year. Last year was a difficult defeat after going to a replay and extra-time. The lads were disappointed and wanted to do something this year. Our aim at the beginning of the year was to get to a county final; naturally when you get there you are not going out to lose it. The players worked very hard and showed all their true qualities.”
In the build-up to the game Connerton was full of praise for his players and he again remarked on the qualities that made them, once again, the best team in the county: “They have great team spirit, great work-rate and all the players get on well. I’ve no difficulty with any Slashers player and they are a great bunch to manage. They are credit to everyone who has worked with them and their families.”
It’s clear that Connerton has enjoyed the success he has brought to Longford Slashers and was delighted to be back this year after last year’s disappointment: “Every year I say this will be my last year. It would be nice to give your own home club a hand-out at times, even though I’ve been there in the past. It’s hard though to keep working in the same venue all the time. I enjoy where I am but who knows what will happen in 2014. We’ll deal with the here and now and live in the present. Who knows what the future holds for any of us,” said the Lanesboro native.
After they have finished celebrating this fine win Slashers must prepare for a Leinster Club tie away to the Wicklow Champions on October 27th. Connerton hopes his side can emulate Killoe’s run last year: “It would be great to think we’d be able to do that. That’s the one thing that you must admire about Killoe; the manner in which they kicked on when they left Longford. We’ll have to try and do that but it will be difficult for us. It will be an interesting game for us and we will give it everything,” he said.