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Turbulent times for Leitrim as they look set for championship absence

It’s understood that they won’t field a team for the Connacht or All-Ireland intermediate championship this summer.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

IT LOOKS LIKE Leitrim ladies will not feature in the Connacht or All-Ireland championship this summer.

The Leitrim Observer first broke the news last night, reporting that the Leitrim county board had obtained a dispensation from the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) not to field an adult inter-county side for championship.

The42 understands that they have been given a deadline to accept the conditions and consequences by Friday, so their withdrawal cannot be fully confirmed until then.

Under LGFA rules, should a county fail to field a side for an inter-county adult championship, the entire county may be suspended at all levels for a year.

Rule 190 in the LGFA’s official guide reads, in full:

“County Boards must send forward a team for Inter-County Adult Championships. Failure to do so may result in the entire County being suspended for 12 months. The suspension shall start on the date on which the match should have been played.”

It’s been reported that the Leitrim county board held an emergency meeting on Monday night to discuss maters, and have agreed to the terms.

Leitrim’s 2018 Lidl Ladies National League campaign was a difficult one, which saw them relegated to Division 4 on zero points after conceding five walkovers.

They did field on two occasions — a 6-15 to 2-5 beating to Offaly and a 7-29 to 2-5 drubbing against league finalists Meath on 18 and 25 February respectively.

The back-to-back Connacht intermediate champions in 2014 and 2015  have been without a manager this season and struggling for numbers. They reached the All-Ireland quarter-final stage last year but bowed out to eventual finalists Tyrone.

This obviously comes as a disappointing turn of events for the county, and marks a serious demise since their 2007 All-Ireland intermediate championship final win over Wexford in Croke Park. That glory came just one 12 months after losing the junior final.

If the situation is fully confirmed by Friday, the Connacht second-tier championship boils down to just Roscommon and Sligo so it’ll be an automatic final, with Mayo and Galway going head-to-head in the senior decider.

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Emma Duffy

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