Brennan plugs gaps to end 14-year Melvin title drought
MELVIN GAELS 2-7 GLENCAR/M'HAMILTON 0-7
Melvin Gaels bridged a gap of 14 years to capture the Leitrim title while denying neighbours Glencar/ Manorhamilton five-in-a-row in a game that failed to ignite at sunny Pairc Sean Mhic Diarmada.
Colm McGowan opened the scoring for Melvin Gaels with a point from play from the throw-in but the sides were level two points each after eight minutes.
The defending champions' forwards failed to produce as the Melvin Gaels defence, marshalled by Fabian McMorrow and Man of the Match Paul Brennan, held firm.
Melvin Gaels regained the lead with a Brendan Brennan point in the 14th minute followed two minutes later by an Emlyn Mulligan point. Then in the 23rd minute a free by Mulligan hit a post and landed in the arms of James Phelan, who shot to the net to rock the defending champions. However, they recovered to score two pointed frees without reply to leave Melvin Gaels ahead 1-4 to 0-4 at half-time.
Mulligan extended the Melvin Gaels lead with a pointed free two minutes into the new half but the expected backlash came with three points in as many minutes from James Glancy (two) and an Aaron Hickey pointed free to leave just two points between the sides.
However, Glencar/Manorhamil-ton failed to maintain the momentum and points by substitute Peter McGowan and Phelan by the 50th minute plus James McGuinness' late goal put Melvin Gaels out of sight.
SCORERS -- Melvin Gaels: J Phelan 1-1, J McGuinness 1-0, E Mulligan 0-3 (2f), B Brennan, C McGowan, P McGowan 0-1 each. Glencar/Manorhamilton: J Glancy 0-4 (2f), A Hickey 0-2 (2f), G Hickey 0-1.
MELVIN GAELS -- G Phelan; S Clancy, F McMorrow, S Ryan; P McGurrin, P Brennan, D Clancy; S McGurrin, B Brennan; C Sheridan, E Muligan, C McGowan; J Connolly,J Phelan,D McSharry (capt). Subs: P McGowan for D McSharry, J McGuinness for J Connolly, C Regan for S Clancy, T Lipsitt for J Phelan.
GLENCAR/MANORHAMILTON -- G Loughlin; T McDonald, P Gilmartin, P Maguire; M McGourty, K O'Flynn, A O'Flynn; D Sweeney (capt), F McGourty; D Kelly, C Ryan, G Hickey; A Croal, A Hickey, J Glancy. Subs: S Loughlin for A O'Flynn, B McDonald for D Kelly, A McDonald for G Hickey, J Rooney for C Ryan, M Poniard for P Gilmartin.
REF -- E O'Grady (Drumkeerin).