Last Saturday evening seen the much anticipated InterCounty B Cup Connaught Final between Leitrim B and Roscommon A.
This was Roscommons first time back on the County scene in a few years and players handpicked based on ability as they have no County qualification in place. Leitrim were preparing for the Intermediate All Ireland coming up in May after winning the Junior All Ireland title last year.
The format for this event is the best of 27 with 9 singles, 9 scotch doubles, 9 singles so first to 14 won the title.
It was Roscommon that settled first, and raced into a 4-1 lead. At the end of the first set it was 6-3 to Roscommon. The 9 scotch doubles games were next and this has proved to be Leitrims strongest session in the past.
The first 4 games were split 2 each leaving it 8-5 in the rossies favour. Dave McWeeney and Paddy Brady clinically finishing the second game and Keith Conlon and Stephen Gordan battling out a good win in the fourth game.
Leitrim took the next 2 games through the experienced John Casey and Barry Singleton and Brady / Singleton but the rossies fought back in the next leaving it 9-7 to Roscommon going into the last 2 doubles games. Leitrim needed to win both both these games to level it at 9 each or Roscommon would have a 2 frame or 4 frame lead going into final session. Hughie Kielty and Oisin OConnor was on one table and Darragh McQuaid / Richie Shanley on the other. Both dished their games bringing the score level at 9-9. This was a huge turning point for Leitrim and a blow to Roscommon after leading all the match.
With Leitrim players and supporters in good singing voice, the atmosphere was getting tense and experience was going to be a massive factor in the outcome of the game. The first 6 games of last session was split 3 each leaving the score 12-12. Darren ‘The Shirt’ Philips bringing it level with a nice clearance after been 12-11 down. Now a best of 27 was down to a best of 3 match and Leitrim closed out the match winning the next 2 frames much to the delight of the Leitrim supporters.
A huge thank you to David Carty from Cartys Bar for allowing the use of his premises and for providing food on the day, it went down very well!
LPA chairman John Casey thanked both teams for great sportsmanship showed by both counties.
Leitrim are now in the All Ireland Semi Finals and will face either Limerick, Wexford B or Fermanagh.