Sunday 20 April 2014

Beirne crowns Leitrim rally

Substitutes Emlyn Mulligan and Conor Beirne made the difference as Leitrim claimed early-season bragging rights against neighbours Roscommon in Elphin.

The arrival of Mulligan and Beirne brought direction to a Leitrim attack that had only managed a solitary point during the opening 30 minutes. The visitors found themselves 0-5 to 0-2 behind in the 44th minute, but four unanswered points in the final 12 minutes turned an error-ridden contest in Leitrim's favour.

Conditions were tough and the opening half was a terrible affair in John Evans' first game in charge of Roscommon. His side were 0-2 to 0-1 ahead at the interval, courtesy of a Conor Devaney point from play and a free from Fintan Cregg. Leitrim's only score of the half arrived in the 27th minute when Adrian Croal found the posts. Both sides also hit the woodwork in this period.

Roscommon took the initiative in the early stages of the second half with a free from sub Cathal Cregg and a point from play by Devaney.

Mulligan opened Leitrim's account in the second period with a 42nd-minute free. However, another free from Cregg left Roscommon three points to the good.

Mulligan's influence was growing, though, and a superb individual point from the Melvin Gaels player was followed by an equally impressive effort by Gerry Hickey. Beirne levelled matters in the 55th minute, before the Eslin forward scored a spectacular winner from a 45-metre free.

SCORERS – Leitrim: E Mulligan (1f), C Beirne (1f) 0-2 each, A Croal, G Hickey 0-1 each. Roscommon: C Devaney, C Cregg (2f) 0-2 each, F Cregg (f) 0-1.

LEITRIM – C McCrann; A Wynne, C Egan, P Maguire; D Beck, P Brennan, C Clarke; W McKeon, P McGowan; G Hickey, B McDonald, K Conlon; R Cox, J Glancy, A Croal. Subs: C Beirne for Cox (h-t), C Sheridan for Maguire (h-t), E Mulligan for Conlon (38), R Lowe for Glancy (47).

ROSCOMMON – M Miley; S McDermott, N Carty, N Collins; D Ward, J Connaughton, C Dineen; M Finneran, K Higgins; P Neary, D O'Gara, D Keenan; C Devaney, F Cregg, D O'Connor. Subs: S Oates for Neary (h-t), C Cregg for O'Gara (h-t), D Keane for O'Connor (38), D Hoey for Keenan (48).

REF – L Devenney (Mayo)

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