Beirne on song for Leitrim
Leitrim stepped up their performance in the second half to claim a fully deserved title success over Limerick in Ballinasloe.
The losers impressed in the first quarter and they shaded the proceedings, thanks to a ninth-minute Michael Brosnan goal, but Leitrim began to get on top in the closing minutes of the half after Conor Beirne shot a levelling 28th-minute point.
Beirne added two further points before the break to give Leitrim an
0-8 to 1-3 half-time advantage.
Leitrim controlled the game following the restart and went seven points clear by the 44th minute.
Limerick closed the gap to a goal by the 60th minute, but Leitrim stayed in control and saw out the game to take the title.
scorers -- Leitrim: C Beirne 0-7 (0-3f), B Mulvey 0-5 (0-5f), S Quinn 0-2, J Mulligan 0-1. Limerick: M Brosnan 1-1 (0-1f), S O'Brien 0-3 (0-2f), K Noonan 0-2 (0-2f), M O'Flynn, K Doody (f) 0-1 each.
Leitrim -- E Higgins; A Holohan, M Gunning, S Beirne; D McGowan, S Harton, M Clancy; G Egan, B Mulvey; J McLoughlin, M Geoghegan, A Armstrong; C Beirne, B Doyle, S Quinn. Subs: J Mulligan for Armstrong (22.).
Limerick -- F Cassidy; R Hannon, S Foley, J Barrett; E Gallagher, J O'Meara, S Reynolds; K Brosnan, B Noonan; K Noonan, M O'Flynn, S Sheahan; K Doody, S O'Brien, M Brosnan. Subs: S Power for O'Flynn (44), K Moynihan for Barrett (44).
Ref -- G Kinneavy (Galway).