Claiming their first FBD League victory in their third outing, an experimental Sligo side proved much too good for Leitrim in reasonably competitive game in Carrick-on-Shannon on Sunday. However it was after the introduction of theexperienced Noel Maguire, Tony Taylor andAdrian Marren in the final twenty minutes ofthe second half action that Sligo got on top andLeitrim’s challenge crumbled.
It was tit for tat in the first half with the leadconstantly changing as both sides battled forsupremacy while the game was levelled on threeoccasions in this period. However Sligo pulledtwo points ahead before the interval and neverfell into arrears subsequently.
A second yellow card offence in the 35thminute saw Sligo’s Mark Quinn sent for anearly shower. But Sligo adapted well to the lossof Quinn while Leitrim never seemed to takeadvantage of the extra man.
Damien O’Donnell edged Leitrim in frontwith a point after just 37 seconds. Leitrim had alet off shortly afterwards when ‘keeper EndaLyons had to make a good save to deny a goalbound effort from Colm McGee.
Meanwhile Mark Breheny levelled for Sligoafter receiving a 6th minute pass from EamonO’Hara. Leitrim regained the lead in the spaceof a minute when James Glancy (St. Mary’s)shot over.
But Sligo upped their game in response andclaimed a double scores lead over the next 7minutes. In this period Colm McGee, StephenGilmartin and Ciarán Finan hit the target forthe Yeats County with Gilmartin whipping overa well executed effort from long range.However two James Glancy (Glencar/Manor)points had Leitrim on level terms by the 20thminute and another Glancy point put themahead three minutes later. But Mark Brehenymade it level pegging again in the 27th minutewhen he tapped over a Sligo free.
Another free conversion by Breheny in thefollowing minute had Sligo back in the lead andColm McGee stretched that advantage withinthe space of another minute when he tappedover the Yeats County’s third free on the trot.However Philip Howard reduced Sligo’s leadto the minimum when he pointed from play inthe 32nd minute. But Sean Davey hit a terrificlong range point in response in the followingminute that sent Sligo to the dressing room forhalftime with an 0 – 8 to 0 – 6 lead.
Sligo increased their advantage with a MarkBreheny free tap over 3 minutes after therestart. After that Leitrim made it level peggingby the end of the third quarter thanks to threeunanswered points by sub Emlyn Mulligan, onefrom play and two from frees.
Mulligan’s final free conversion in thisperiod was a spectacular effort that sailed overfrom 55 metres out. However Leitrim failed toscore after that as their general play becamequite shapeless and error ridden.Sligo took complete command for the finalquarter and pulled away quite easily with twoColm McGee points, one from a free and onefrom play, plus a Breheny free conversion and alate Adrian Marren goal. Leitrim finished with14 players when Colin Regan received a latesecond yellow card.
SLIGO: Philip Greene, Charlie Harrison,Conor Davey, Ross Donovan, Johnny Davey,Mark Quinn, Seán Davey 0 – 1, StephenGilmartin 0 – 1, James Murphy, Eamon O’Hara,Mark Breheny 0 – 3(2f.), Ciarán Finan 0 – 1,Pádraig McGoldrick, Kenneth Sweeney, ColmMcGee 0 – 6(3f.). Subs Francis Quinn for O’Hara(HT), Noel Maguire for McGoldrick (40 mins.), T.Taylor for Murphy (47mins.), Adrian Marren forFinan (52mins.), Pádraig Clarke for Sweeney (60mins.).
LEITRIM: Enda Lyons, Daniel Beck, JohnMcKeon, Dermot Reynolds, Colin Regan. BarryPrior, James Glancy (St. Mary’s) 0 – 1, DarrenSweeney, Clifford Richardson, PhillyMcGuinness, David O’Connor, DamienO’Donnell 0 – 1, Brendan Gallagher, JamesGlancy (Glencar/Manor) 0 – 3(2f.), PhilipHoward 0 – 1. Subs Gareth Phelan for Lyons(HT), Declan Gilhooley for Gallagher (HT),Emlyn Mulligan 0 – 3(2f.) for Sweeney (HT),Adrian Croal for Howard (41 mins.).
Referee: Declan Corcoran (Mayo).