If ever one player summed up Leitrim’s feelings after Allianz NFL Division 4 North’s loss on Sunday to Antrim, it’s Evan Sweeney, the Glencar / Manorhamilton admitting to having mixed emotions after the dramatic 2-17-1 loss. 19 at Corrigan Park.
Introduced as a substitute after 49 minutes, Evan made the kind of play-impact every player dreams of, scoring 1-3 of five shots in an incredible five minutes, a flurry that nearly propelled Leitrim to an unlikely victory given the score. when it was presented.
Speaking with the Observer after the game, Evan’s first thoughts turned to a lost opportunity rather than his own performance: “Mixed emotions, great performance in the second half but I thought we could have held on. at the end.
“I haven’t set the world on fire in the past few weeks and was just determined to come in and shake things up. Now in all fairness there was a bit of a breeze in the long goal so it helped the forwards, it made it easier to get your scores.
The Leitrim man, who scored 1-4 overall, was also unhappy with referee Kevin Faloon’s decision to give Antrim a free during injury time as Green & Gold sought a winner: “To be honest we feel tough done by there, the last piece, we probably feel a little tough but I think they showed a little bit of cuteness there towards the end.
“I think it was McCann who got the last score, he’s been around for a while, he stayed wide, was patient, took the ball and gave a good score, but yeah, we kinda felt that we could have gotten a draw but if you only play ten or 15 minutes here and there and give yourself a nine or ten point deficit, it’s very difficult to get that back.
You can feel that finding a reason for Leitrim’s fluctuating form is a priority for Leitrim players, not to mention management: “We had a pretty tough week after Louth’s game.
I guess there was a lot of criticism going around and it was hard to take because we felt we had made some progress after the last couple of years.
“We play in spurts for 10 or 15 minute periods, but it’s a very young team, a lot of them are in their early twenties, so it’s definitely something to work on, but in As far as abilities go, I think we all know the ability is there and we at least showed it in the second half.
“It was obviously a very difficult week after the Louth game, but we have good footballers and we are well able to mix them with the best teams. I think there are six weeks left until the next game, so at least we’ll have a positive atmosphere around us during those six weeks and that helps a lot.