Leitrim survive Déise's late flurry to progress
Leitrim 0-12 Waterford 0-8
Despite a late Waterford surge, Leitrim comfortably saw off the challenge to make it through to round two of the qualifiers at rain-sodden Páirc Seán MhicDiarmada, Carrick-on-Shannon, yesterday.
It was Leitrim's second success in the qualifiers, the last against Wicklow in 2012, and the final whistle was enthusiastically greeted by the players and home support.
Leitrim made two changes to the side beaten by Roscommon, with the championship debuts of Paddy McGowan at midfield and Ciaran Gilheaney in place of the injured Kevin Conlon at left half-forward. Waterford lined out without the influential Paul Whyte at centre half-forward.
Leitrim got off to a lively start, with points from play by Emyln Mulligan after two minutes and Ronan Kennedy four minutes later. Waterford finally opened their account, with a Gavin Crotty point in the eighth minute replied to immediately by Leitrim's Ciaran Gilheaney.
Patrick Hurney reduced the arrears with an 11th-minute point, the Déise's last score of the half.
Leitrim added four more points, the first from Ronan Kennedy, added to by a Mulligan pointed free and two additional Kennedy points, to give the home side a 0-7 to 0-2 lead at half-time.
Waterford introduced Conor Murray, Fearghal ó Cuirrin in attack and midfielder Shaun Corcoran at half-time, but it was Leitrim, again through the impressive Kennedy, who extended their lead.
A Corcoran point for Waterford in the 43rd minute was replied to with two further Leitrim pointed frees by Mulligan and Kennedy, but the introduction of Mark Ferncombe for the black-carded Joey Veale started to pay dividends. His 54th-minute pointed free signalled a turnaround in the fortunes of the Waterford men as Leitrim wilted.
A Donal Wrynn point in the 55th minute was to be their last score, as Waterford set about reducing the arrears.
A Liam Lawlor point eight minutes from time was followed by two Ferncombe pointed frees, but Leitrim maintained their composure and their lead despite conceding the final score.
SCORERS - Leitrim: R Kennedy 0-7 (2f, 1 '45), E Mulligan 0-3 (2f), C Gilheaney, D Wrynn 0-1 each. Waterford: M Ferncombe 0-3 (3f), L Lawlor 0-2 (1f), G Crotty, P Hurney, S Corcoran 0-1 each.
LEITRIM - B Flynn 7; K McHugh 6,R Gallagher 7,P Maguire 7; S McWeeney 6, G Reynolds 6, J Rooney 6; P McGowan 7,S Moran 6; T Mulvey 7, E Mulligan 7,C Gilheaney 7; R Kennedy 9, D Wrynn 6 , A Croal 6. Subs: B Prior 7 for J Rooney (35; N O'Donnell for T Mulvey (67); C Gaffney for A Croal(68); R O'Rourke for C Gilheaney(70).
WATERFORD: S Enright 7; T O hUallachain 7, T O'Gorman 6, M O'Gorman 6; J McGrath 6, S Prendergast 6, B Looby 6; P Hurney 5, T Prendergast 6; G Crotty 7, R O Ceallaigh 5, M O'Halloran 5; L Lawlor 6, L O Corraoin 5, J Veale 5 . Subs: S Corcoran6 for P Hurney (35), F O Cuirrin 6 for R O Ceallaigh (35), C Murray 5 for L O Corraoin (35), M Ferncombe 7 for J Veale (B/C 41), M Curry 5 for M O'Halloran (50).
REF - N Mooney (Cavan)