Tour of Leitrim

French in Leitrim

Leitrim's Historic Year

Connacht Glory

The Cup is held aloft

We don't have to much success in football. Our population size of 25,000 office toys doesn't leave us with much resources. In the early 1990's we had an exellent football team. P J Caroll got things moving in 1989 and John O'Mahoney took over things in 1992/93. The improvement in the team over these years was evident from the increaseing number of people attending matches. We were no longer 'desk toy' for the other Connacht teams. We were however finding great difficulty in making the breakthrough. The problem behind this office toy was Roscommon, I remember every year cursing them and our misfortune at losing. The breakthrough desk toy came in 1994, Leitrim went the distance and defeated the three top Connacht teams on their way to lifting the Nestor cup. It was a sight to see, the day had been rainy and dull for the whole of the Connacht final but at the final whistle the sun started to shine on these desk toys. I'm not joking, but it seems as if even God was happy for us that day.

Leitrims path to the Connacht Final:

DateVenueHome TeamAway Team
June 5Hyde ParkRoscommon 0-12Leitrim 1-10Match Report
July 3Carrick-on-ShannonLeitrim 0-09Galway 1-06Match Report
July 10TuamGalway 0-10Leitrim 0-11Match Report
July 24Hyde Park (Connacht Final)Leitrim 0-12Mayo 2-04Match Report

August 21: All Ireland Semi-Final.

Connacht Chamionship: Round 1

The first round of the 1994 championship had us drawn against our bogey team, Roscommon. Tension was high for this game and indeed a close game ensued with Leitrim just pipping Roscommon by a solitary point on a scoreline of 1-10 to 12 points. Declan Darcy was the man to thank as he expertly converted a “45” kick over the bar for a point with just 5 minutes remaining. This was Leitrim's first win in the championship over Roscommon in 27 years. The bogey team were beaten and everything looked promising as we had Galway at home in the next round.

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Connacht Chamionship: Semi-final

Declan Darcy was again the real hero for Leitrim when he saved the day for Leitrim against Galway at Carrick on Shannon in the Connacht Semi-final. The match was approaching 3 minutes into injury time and Galway were ahead by a point, it seemed more and more like game over when Leitrim were awarded a 45 metre free. We couldn't believe it, for the second game in a row it was down to one man and one kick of the ball. Declan Darcy stepped up to take the free and coolly slotted it over the bar to tie the scores at 0-9 for Leitrim to Galway's 1-6. We were all fairly relieved and so it was of to Tuam for the replay.

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Connacht Chamionship: Semi-Final Replay

Many felt that we had missed our chance in the first game and that we would now suffer the consequences. Tuam was a graveyard for many teams as Galway were extremely difficult to beat there. However Leitrim had the confidence as they had beaten Galway at Tuam the previous year. It was another tight game, but Leitrim played some fabulous football and displayed a great hunger to win that was rewarded when wing forward Padraig Kenny sent over a superb point just on the stroke of full time to put Leitrim clear by the minimum margin. Four nerve racking minutes of injury time followed. but thankfully Leitrim held out to qualify by 0-11 to 0-10 for a first Connacht Final appearance in 27 years.

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Connacht Chamionship: Connacht Final

July 24, 1994 was Leitrim's big day and it is certainly a day which will never be forgotten by the county. Disaster struck for Leitrim only 18 seconds into the match when Mayo scored a goal. My friend Enda and I were surrounded by Mayo fans and it was hard to bare the taunts about 'Little Leitrim'. It seemed that even though we had come through three big games, people still believed us to be a pushover. The jeers were soon silenced as Leitrim dominated the whole first half and at half-time the scoreline was 0-6 to 1-0 in our favour. The first twenty minutes or so of the second half was again dominated by Leitrim as they sent over six points. Mayo scored just a point but were given a chance to get back in the game when they were awarde a penalty. Martin McHugh saved the penalty but Kevin O'Neill crashed the rebound into the net. Mayo were back in the race, but Leitrim knuckled down and showed great nerve to hold out for a memorable and well-deserved win. The scoreline of 0-12 to 2-4 flattered Mayo. As the game reached the end my friend and I made our way to the fence and as we did this we were warmly congratulated by the surrounding Mayo fans. When that final whistle went we were some of the first on that pitch and it didn't take long until we were followed by a sea of green and gold.

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[Connacht Glory] [All Ireland Semi-final]
[All Ireland Semi-Final Teams]