London v Leitrim: What you need to know ahead of the Connacht Championship Senior Football quarter-final

London v Leitrim: What you need to know ahead of the Connacht Championship Senior Football quarter-final

LONDON’S new home for GAA is set for its opening clash this weekend when London take on Leitrim in the Connacht Championship Senior Football quarter-final.

The London County Board has released details for the clash as the Exiles prepare to face the Ridge County at McGovern Park on Sunday, May 28.

The game will be the first at the newly-redeveloped Ruislip grounds with the winner advancing to a Connacht semi-final against Roscommon on Sunday, June 18 at Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon.

The new stand at McGovern Park (Picture: Malcolm McNally)

After a year of construction work, Ruislip will open with a new 1,950 capacity seated stand along with a resur- faced field, changing rooms and floodlit training pitch.

London manager Ciaran Deely says he side are ready to put it all on the line.

“We need to make sure we’re still in the game after 60 minutes and give ourselves an opportunity to put Leitrim under serious pressure in the closing stages,” he said.

Pictured (L-R) Sligo's Kevin McDonnell, Mayo's Cillian O'Connor, Galway's Gary O'Donnell, Roscommon's Sean McDermott, Leitrim's Donall Wrynn and London's Liam Gavaghan (Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson)

Leitrim bainisteoir Brendan Guckian certainly won’t be taking the Exiles for granted when his side travel to Ruislip – despite their victory over the Exiles in the National League at the end of March.

“London will field a completely different team and the intensity will be incomparable,” Guckian said. “We’re expecting a massive battle.”

Throw-in for the senior game is at 3.30pm, with Championship debuts for both sides’ captains.

Leitrim captain Donal Wrynn, who has beenoperatingatcentre-half backthisseason, is expecting a highly competitive encounter.

“We know that London will be a different animal when we play them over in Ruislip. It’s definitely going to be a difficult one with their new pitch and stand,” the 23-year-old said.

“They have been looking at this opportunity for probably the last 12 months and saying ‘Look we have Leitrim, let’s start building, let’s turn them over’.”

London captain Liam Gavaghan (Picture: Malcolm McNally)

London captain Liam Gavaghan, born and raised in the city and also a forward for Tir Chonaill Gaels, says the day will be extra special for him.

“It will be such a proud moment for me and my family captaining the side against Leitrim.

“I’ve been going to Ruislip games with my dad and brothers since I was kid so to lead the team out for a Championship game will be very special,” he said.

“London is slowly but surely producing home grown players and that can only benefit the senior team in the long run.”

Team training (Picture: Malcolm McNally)

With an expected crowd of 3,000 people, fans are advised to arrive at Ruislip as early as possible.

A limited number of tickets will be available on Sunday but patrons are encouraged to buy tickets online or from the County Board office at Ruislip.

Redevelopment committee chairman and senior football selector Noel Dunning said the opening of the new McGovern Park grounds will be “an historic occasion for all GAA members in Britain as it shows what can be achieved by the GAA outside of Ireland’.

The view from McGovern Stand (Picture: Malcolm McNally)

“Ruislip will be a modern county ground which all Gaels in London can feel proud of,” he added.

An official ceremony to mark the opening of the new grounds will take place at 1.45pm, with GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl in attendance.

Gates open on Sunday at 10.30am and an under-17 development match between London and Warwickshire has a midday throw-in.

London's Cormac Coyne with teammates before London's Offaly game last Championship season (Picture: INPHO/Tom Beary)

London v Leitrim - What you need to know

Sunday, May 28

McGovern Park GAA Grounds Connacht Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final 10.30am (Gates)

Noon – U17 Development Match – London v Warwickshire

1.45pm – Official opening ceremony

3.30pm - Throw-in

5pm - After Match Party (£5 admission)


Admission: Adults £20 | Children U16 free with adult | Students/Seniors £10

Refreshments, food and entertainment available throughout the afternoon.

Anyone found bringing alcohol into the grounds will have it confiscated.

No parking allowed within the grounds or adjacent roads - use public transport where possible (South Ruislip station/bus stop outside the ground).

Applications can be made for disabled parking pass - email [email protected].

Taxis are prohibited from dropping off or picking up between noon and 8pm.