Match at a glance
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: John Collins (Warwickshire) In the absence of the injured Kelvin McGee (hand), Kieran Boxwell was drafted into midfield with John Collins bolstering the midfield area and wing back position. The Cork man gave an outstanding display from start to finish.
But there were several candidates for the accolade for the 2017 Lory Meagher Cup finalists including Ian Dwyer, Shane Caulfield, Paul Hoban and talisman Liam Watson. Score-of-the-Match: Liam Watson’s 44th minute point. A great finish from the Antrim star after an excellent passage of Warwickshire play involving four players.
SAVE-OF-THE-MATCH: Declan Molloy’s 57th minute triple save. Apart from the blemish that resulted in Warwickshire’s first goal, the Leitrim goal-keeper had an excellent game and his triple save denied a second goal at a crucial stage when the game was still in the balance.
TURNING POINT: Warwickshire’s storming finish. Leitrim were held scoreless for the last twenty-one minutes of play while the Exiles turned on the style to hit an unanswered 1-5.
WARWICKSHIRE MANAGER TONY JOYCE A delighted Tony Joyce praised his squad for a great finish to another tough contest and stated that Warwickshire deserved their trip to Croke Park on 10 June.
“I’m delighted for the lads and I can see we are gathering momentum with every game but we must maintain that standard because whoever we meet in the final it will be another difficult test,” said the Belfast man who has been involved in Warwickshire hurling for a number of years.
He also added that next week’s trip to Manchester will be an opportunity to test the depth of his squad as well as an opportunity for some of his injured squad members to be ready for their Croke Park outing. But sadly for Cork man and 2013 Lory Meagher Cup winner Sean Hennessy his season is over after picking up a serious cruciate ligament injury.
LEITRIM MANAGER MARTIN CUNNIFFE A disappointed but proud Leitrim manager had no excuses for his team’s loss and praised them for giving their all in a game that they were in contention until the last twenty minutes.
“I’m disappointed but not surprised with the result because Warwickshire have some exceptional players this year and we knew this would be a difficult place to get a result.
“We’re not quite out of it yet and will regroup for what will another tough clash with Sligo in Carrick-on- Shannon next Saturday,” said Martin who also bemoaned the absence of some rising Leitrim hurlers who are students and unavailable because they examination-tied.
Pick up your copy of this week’s Irish World to read the full match report.
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