The Connacht Gold Leitrim senior football quarter-finals take place this weekend, here’s five things to watch out for.
The Mohill forward line
Mohill opened the defence of their title with a 100% group stage record, four wins from four and 102 in the points scored column.
24 points of that 102 came the way of eight goals, it proved the Mohill forwards led by the lethal Keith Beirne are taking no prisoners.
At the other end Mohill conceded just 45 points, an average of 11 points a game.
On the other hand Gortletteragh conceded 72 points in the group stage and scored 60. The guidebooks say just one winner in this game! The question might be by how much?
South Leitrim dominance
Glencar/Manorhamiliton fly the flag for North Leitrim in the quarter-final stage, but will the flag be flying for long?
Manor finished second in group two, two wins and one draw and a score difference of +9. Ballinamore took third place in group one, two wins and two defeats and +29 in the score column.
Group one was stronger on paper, but on the pitch can Ballinamore follow that up and make the semi-finals?
It’s going to be a quiet year in north Leitrim as Ballinamore are a bit further down the line when it comes to their own development.
Leitrim Gaels the surprise package
If there’s going to be a surprise package in 2021 is it going to be Leitrim Gaels?
In just their second senior championship campaign it’s another quarter-final outing for the Gaels.
Third in group two means a meeting with group one runners-up Fenagh St.Cailins, who have yet to hit the highs of what their team says on paper.
This could be the surprise of the championship? If Gaels can shut out Ryan O’Rourke and limit Donal Wrynn well then it might just be.
Return of crowds
The tickets have been sold, the crowds now return to Pairc Sean and as we’ve seen everywhere from Euro 2020 to Croke Park this is big.
A big vocal following lifts all boats, influences the officials and even intermediates the rivals.
Last year’s final saw just 200 people. This weekend there will be a serious roar!
The revamped 2021 Leitrim SFC got underway six weeks ago. Five rounds of matches in the group stage, one round less than the last few years.
Still though the dead rubber games existed. No walk overs thankfully, but a round of games just playing for positions existed.
Lots of games doesn’t equal lots of quality. 20 matches to eliminate two teams is a format UEFA would be proud of bringing into the Euro’s.
This weekend will however separate the men from the boys, let’s just hope there aren’t too many boys!
All four Connacht Gold Leitrim SFC quarter-finals are live on Shannonside this weekend.
Saturday 18 September
2pm - St. Mary's Kiltoghert v Aughawillan
5.30pm - Mohill v Gortletteragh
Sunday September 19
1pm – Fenagh St. Cailins v Leitrim Gaels
4.30pm – Glencar/Manorhamilton v Ballinamore Sean O’Heslins