Leitrim travel to Markievicz Park on Sunday more in hope of pulling off a surprise win against Sligo. Despite a poor Division Two National League campaign and relegation, Sligo still have much more in the tank than Leitrim at this stage of the season.
Leitrim’s last Connacht Championship win was against New York on May 11, 2008 in the Big Apple. One of the negative factors that Leitrim has had to deal with coming in to Sunday’s game is the high turnover in players that has taken place over the past few years in the squad.
Since last June’s Connacht semi-final defeat by Roscommon in Hyde Park goalkeeper Enda Lyons, half-back Shane Foley, centre-half-forward David O’Connor and half-forward Michael Foley are no longer part of Leitrim team due to emigration and studies.Centre-half-back against Roscommon John McKeon has just returned to the squad after a serious shoulder injury sustained in January against Mayo in the FBD League and is unlikely to start against Sligo while leading forward Declan Maxwell, who came as an injury hampered substitute in that game, is unavailable this year.
Among the players that have come into Mickey Moran’s side this year and given impressive performances are Ronan Gallagher and Paddy Maguire in defence with Adrian Croal up front. All are likely to be championship debutants against Sligo.
U-21 player Conor Beirne and Dermot Reynolds (Annaduff) are possible players to make their first championship appearances while goalkeeper Cathal McCrann is expected to return to the team after a few seasons away, as is forward Emlyn Mulligan, who has missed almost two years due to cruciate knee ligament injuries.