Sunday 26 May 2019

Leitrim's late comeback in Markievicz

Connacht Minor Championship: Sligo 0-13 Leitrim 2-14

Emma Gallagher

Sligo minors were defeated by a late Leitrim rally in the Connacht championship in a beautiful Markievicz Park on Friday evening.

As the country basked in searing sunshine, the footballers had to contend with hot conditions throughout and the referee signalled stoppages for water breaks to assist players during the game.

Sligo looked impressive and were leading by 3 points going into the final ten minutes of the match but the visitors outscored the hosts by 2-4 to no score in this period with Paul Keaney and David O'Connell finding the net.

Sligo got off to the best start with Lee Deignan accurately pointing a free on Matthew Clavin in the first minute which was quickly followed by another point from play from Conor Finn before Deignan added his second free. Leitrim got off the mark through Tom Prior with further points from Keaney and Caolan Clancy (free) bringing the sides level on 5 minutes. Leitrim pushed into the lead through a well-worked point from Jamie Quinn, Clancy involved in the build-up. Leitrim were dispossessed by James Heraghty who found Finn who added his second point from play as the sides had 0-4 each. Sligo's Ronan Wilson had his goal chance stopped by Leitrim keeper Matthew Early before captain Eoghan Sweeney put Sligo into the lead again. Another point from David Barrett put Sligo two in front with 13 minutes played as a short time later the well-deserved water break occurred.

Finn was again on target on 17 minutes scoring his third before Sean Doyle added another as Sligo led by four. Rian Moylan sent over a fine point from play as Sligo were ahead by 5 on 21 minutes and further points from Oisín Murphy (free) and Doyle put them comfortably 7 in front as half time approached.

Quinn slotted over a free on O'Connell followed by a fine score from Colin Moran which saw the half time score 0-11 to 0-6 in Sligo's favour. Leitrim did find the net but referee Paul Lydon ruled it out for a square ball. Sligo were down to 14 men after Mark-Connolly McGowan, already on a yellow was given a black card.

Leitrim were the first to score after the resumption Keaney on target for his 2nd point before Deignan responded with a free for Sligo on 37 minutes.

An Oisín Bohan free was followed by a well-struck 45 from Keaney as Leitrim brought it back to a 3 point game on 41 minutes. Deignan was again on target for the Yeats men to put Sligo in front but the Leitrim resurgence had begun.

Play was halted for sometime as Sligo's Connor Finn was being attended to after suffering an injury and the young man was stretchered off the field to applause.

Four points on the bounce from Shane Mallon, Bohan (free), Francie Davitt and Prior brought it back to a level game on 67 minutes. Doyle had a goal chance fantastically saved by Leitrim keeper Matthew Earley to deny the Yeats men and another chance from substitute Jim Davis came off the post too.

Leitrim took the lead through Keaney's goal on 68 minutes with Mallon involved, and a point from Mallon and a late goal from O'Connell was enough for the visitors in the end.

SLIGO: G Gallagher, M Connolly-McGowan, D Barrett, L Fleming, S Carnahan, S Carroll, E Sweeney (C), R Wilson, J Heraghty, O Murphy, S Doyle, C Finn, R Moylan, M Clavin, L Deignan. SUBS: L Wilson for Heraghty (32), C McKeon for R Wilson (37), J Davis for Finn (inj 52), D Williams for Clavin (62).

LEITRIM: M Earley, T McKeon, E McLoughlin, J Flynn, P McKenna, P Keaney, F McGovern, C Moran, D O'Connell, S Mallon, C Clancy, J Quinn, D Maguire, T Prior, O Bohan. SUBS: O Niblock for Maguire (h/t), N Keegan for Clancy (49), F Davitt for Quinn (62).

REFEREE: P Lydon (Mayo).

Sligo Champion