Dead-eyed James Hynes helps Sligo to title
SLIGO 0-9 LEITRIM 0-6 Connacht Junior Championship Final
Sligo retained their Provincial title when they defeated Leitrim in an entertaining decider at Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon.
Sligo were first to score with a Stephen Coen point from play after two minutes followed by a James Hynes free in the fourth minute.
Adrian Croal opened the Leitrim account with a free a minute later but Sligo pulled three points clear with frees by David Rooney and Hynes midway through the half.
Points from Stephen McGurrin and Croal brought Leitrim back into contention but they failed to take their chances and Sligo finished the half the stronger, scoring two points without reply to give them a 0-6 to 0-3 lead at the interval.
Ronan Kennedy reduced the arrears with a free two minutes into the resumption followed by a John McKeon point in the 34th minutes to leave just one point between the sides.
In a free-flowing passage of play during which both sides missed chances, Hynes extended the Sligo lead with a free in the 48th minute, cancelled out three minutes later by Leitrim's Croal.
Although Leitrim pressed forward in the closing stages, the Sligo defence held firm.
In an exciting finale, Sligo took control and frees by goalkeeper Aidan Devaney and Rooney ended Leitrim's hopes.
Scorers – Sligo: J Hynes 0-4 (4fs), D Rooney 0-3 (3fs), A Devaney (1f) S Coen 0-1 each. Leitrim: A Croal 0-3 (2fs), R Kennedy (f), S McGurrin, J McKeon 0-1 each.
SLIGO – A Devaney; E Flanagan, J Martyn, B Walsh; L Bree, K McDonald, D Rooney; G Ryan, C Griffin; D O'Boyle, E McHugh, C Kearins; S Coen, J Hynes, B O'Mahony. Subs: C Brennan for B O'Mahony(42), G Cadden for D O'Boyle (42).
LEITRIM – E Lyons; N Duffy, J Rooney, J Cassidy; J Glancy, J McKeon, D Duignan; S McGurrin, P Mollick; G Sammon, C Ryan, É Madden; R Kennedy, D Maxwell, A Croal. Subs: M Creegan for J Cassidy (48), N Clancy for G Sammon (51).
REF – J Henry (Mayo)