Carew relief after Deise end losing run
Waterford 1-13 Leitrim 0-11
Waterford ended their winless run and disrupted Leitrim's promotion ambitions at Fraher Field.
Crushing defeats to Antrim and London had tested the Deise resolve.
"You start to question yourself," manager Niall Carew conceded. "But what you do is that you keep reverting back to the things you are doing right.
"The players are training very hard. We had two blips, there's no doubt about it."
Full-forward Shane Ahearne struck 1-2 as seven different players contributed to the scoreboard, while Conor Phelan, Shane Briggs and Kieran Connery stood up in a defence that restricted the visitors to a slim total of three points from play.
Ahearne's green flag after 32 minutes split the sides at half-time (1-6 to 0-6).
Leitrim closed to within one on the resumption but the Deise hit back in style with a decisive four-point burst from Declan Allen, JJ Hutchinson, Ahearne and Paul Whyte.
In a wayward second half, Leitrim tallied eight wides and 11 overall. Ahearne rounded off an opening win that lifts the home side off the foot of the table.
ScorerS – Waterford: S Ahearne 1-2 (1f), P Whyte 0-3 (3fs), D Allen, JJ Hutchinson, C Phelan 0-2 each, S Briggs, W Hutchinson 0-1 each. Leitrim: E Mulligan 0-7 (7fs), J Glancy, R Cox (f), S Foley, D Moran 0-1 each.
Waterford – T Wall 6; D Crowley 7, K Connery 7, T O'Gorman 7; C O'Keeffe 6, S Briggs 7, C Phelan 8; W Hutchinson 6, P Whyte 7; D Allen 7, O Keevers 6, JJ Hutchinson 7; L O Lonain 6, S Ahearne 8, N Walsh 6. Subs: S Enright 6 for Wall (15), T Grey 6 for Walsh (41), T O hUallachain 6 for O'Keeffe (52), T Prendergast 6 for W Hutchinson (58), B Wall for Keevers (66), J Hayden for JJ Hutchinson (70).
Leitrim – E Lyons 6; B Prior 6, D Wrynn 6, P Maguire 6; P Brennan 5, G Reynolds 6, W McKeon 6; D Sweeney 6, D Moran 6; K Conlan 6, D Beck 5, R Lowe 6; E Mulligan 7, J Glancy 6, R Cox 6. Subs: S McWeeney 6 for Brennan (h-t), A Hickey 6 for Beck (43), B McDonald 6 for Cox (45), S Foley 6 for Sweeney (47), S Moran for D Moran (58), C Egan for Conlan (67).
Ref – J Bermingham (Cork)