Thursday 18 July 2019

Two wins in two for hurlers thanks to victory over Leitrim

Hurling: Leitrim 0-19 Sligo 2-14

Sligo made it two wins from two in the national league thanks to another tense victory over 13-man Leitrim at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon.

The home side - who reached the final of this division last season - were let down by ill-discipline, but, as is often the case with a team reduced in personnel, they showed admirable heart and workrate to remain in contention throughout.

They opened the scoring through Ben Murray, but after Ronan Cox had levelled things up with a slick response for the Yeats men, Leitrim picked up the first of their two red cards, when corner-back Fergal Earley was sent-off for lashing out on Sligo's Joe Starr after the defender had been fouled.

Nonetheless, it took Sligo a long time to take advantage of the extra man, as Clement Cunniffe's free-taking and a good point from Colm Moreton had Leitrim in the front.

But a Sligo goal skilfully finished to the net by the impressive Tony O'Kelly-Lynch saw Sligo take the lead for the first time on 22 minutes.

Eoin Comerford pointed four first half frees for the Yeats men, and a second goal, finished by Garry Cadden from close range, gave Sligo some breathing space at half-time, as they led by 2-5 to 0-9.

A good start to the second half, which featured points from Comerford, Cadden and two from substitute Kieran Prior, saw Sligo pull six clear at one stage.

And Leitrim's frustrations spilled over from midfielder James Glancy on 46 minutes, as he firstly saw yellow for fouling Comerford, and immediately saw a second yellow - and then a red - for his reaction.

But with Manorhamilton's Karl McDermott pushing forward in to midfield, Leitrim found a new level despite their numerical disadvantage.

McDermott hit two points from play, while Cunniffe was un-nerving from frees as Leitrim stayed right on Sligo's coat-tails.

But as a draw started to look on the cards, Sligo clipped over a couple of important points through Comerford and O'Kelly-Lynch - after a clever pass from Cadden - to finally shake off the home side and claim the win.

The Yeats men's next outing is at home to Cavan on the weekend after next.

SLIGO: Kevan Brennan; Tommy Kelly, James Weir, Tom Brennan; Liam Reidy, Keith Raymond, Kevin Banks; Mark Comerford, Ronan Cox (0-1); Eoin Comerford (0-6, 5f), Garry Cadden (1-2), Brian Shannon; Kevin O'Kennedy, Joe Starr, Tony O'Kelly-Lynch (1-3, 1f). Subs: Kieran Prior (0-2) for O'Kennedy (ht), Cathal Jordan for Kelly (46), Danny Keown for M Comerford (62), Niall McDermott for T Brennan (66).

LEITRIM: Declan Molloy; Paul Earley, Cathal McCrann, Fergal Earley; Enda Moreton, Karl McDermott (0-2), Niall McLoughlin; James Glancy, Cathal O'Donovan; Ben Murray (0-3), Colm Moreton (0-2), David McGovern; Gavin O'Hagan, Clement Cunniffe (0-10, 9f), Stephen Goldrick (0-2). Subs: Cian Mallon for McLoughlin (5), Aaron McDermott for O'Hagan (40), Diarmuid Kelleher for Mallon (54), Conal McGuire for P Earley (60), Zak Moradi for A McDermott (68).

Ref: J Clarke

Sligo Champion