By John Fallon
New York goalkeeper Vinny Cadden said that the pain of their late loss to Leitrim in the Connacht SFC on Sunday will continue long into the winter.
The Sligo native kept a clean sheet — only the third time in 20 championship matches that New York have done that — but it wasn’t enough to secure their first ever as Leitrim struck for four late points to win by 0-19 to 1-15 after extra-time.
Cadden, playing his third championship for New York, said they had trained extremelt hard and felt they had a great chance to secure that historic win.
“We don't set out at the start of the year just to fulfill the fixture, we always believed the whole way through, no more than last year and the year before, that we could win it.
“We always set out and believe we were going to win and we don't just come out for the day that's in it and play a game. We’re training three or four times a week, gym on top of that because you want to give yourselves every chance.
“We put so much effort into it and to come that close is heart-breaking but I suppose that’s football. But there is no doubt we will look back for a long time and think this is one we could have won,” said the 24-year old.
He played minor and U-21 championship football for Sligo and also made a few national league and FBD League games for them before the Coolera-Strandhill emigrated a few years ago.
A bartender at the Gaslight in the Meatpacking District of New York, Cadden was outstanding when they came so close to beating Roscommon two years ago before giving his native Sligo a run for their money last year.
“If you are to compare the panel of players that went out this year compared to the panel of players that went out last year against Sligo there are only a handful or so of us from last year.
“Straight away off the bat at the start of the year you're getting to know new fellas and you're trying to learn how they play and learn how to play with them and everything else.
“This year has been one of the most enjoyable years I've had with a great group of players.
“It’s just such a pity we didn’t see it through. It was a great game and it was tit-for-tat the whole way through. It's just unlucky for ourselves that the ball was up our side the field and they put it over instead of the other way around.
“We always knew we'd be there or thereabouts but I think Leitrim’s legs showed in the last few minutes. They just seemed to have a bit more composure on the ball. It’s a pity,” he added.