Gaffney holds off brave Leitrim rally
Wicklow 0-10 Leitrim 1-6
Niall Gaffney's point six minutes from time proved decisive in Carrick-on-Shannon.
A penalty goal converted by Emlyn Mulligan in the sixth minute of added time came too late for Leitrim, who failed to show up for a first half dominated by a well organised Wicklow side.
Aided by a strong wind the Garden County were four points to no score wahead after just six minutes as Leitrim struggled in all sectors and this pattern was to continue for the remainder of the half as an impressive Wicklow attack scored almost at will.
The home side finally broke their duck in the 30th minute with a Nevin O'Donnell free.
By then, Wicklow were nearly out of sight and they pulled away to 0-9 to 0-1 at half-time.
Leitrim benefited from the elements in the second period and set about reducing the deficit, scoring five points without reply as Wicklow faded, to leave just a goal between the sides.
The final minutes were delicately poised as Leitrim threw everything into attack but failing to score until the Mulligan goal which came too late to change the outcome.
Man of the match: Mark Kenny
SCORERS - Wicklow: R Finn (1f), D Haydon, J McGrath (2fs), M Kenny 0-2 each, E Doyle, C Gaffney 0-1 each. Leitrim: E Mulligan 1-1fs, N O'Donnell 0-2fs, J McGrail, J Rooney, N Woods 0-1 each.
LEITRIM - B Flynn 6; M Murphy 6, N Woods 6, M McWeeney 6; P Maguire 5,G Reynolds 5,S Quinn 5; D Wrynn 6, D Sweeney 6; N O'Donnell 6, E Mulligan 5, K Conlan 6; C Gilheaney 5, A Croal 5, J McGrail 6. Subs: J Rooney 6 for Quinn (20), B Prior 6 for Maguire (35), C Gaffney 5 for McGrail (47), R Gallagher 5 for Wrynn (56), R Flynn for Conlon and S Moran for Sweeney (both 64).
WICKLOW - R Lambert 7; A Murphy 7, R O'Brien 7, S Kelly 7; D Healy 7, P McLoughlin 7, C Murphy 7; R Finn 8, A McLoughlin 8; D Haydon 8,J McGrath 8, M Kenny 8; E Doyle 8, P Cunningham 7, G Allen 7. Subs: N Gaffney 7 for Doyle (49), J Crowe 6 for Healy (55), D Woods for Finn (61), P O'Connor for Cunningham (69), C Hyland for N Gaffney (BC 71).
REF - S Laverty (Antrim).