Thursday 19 April 2018

Glancy the inspiration as Leitrim end 11-year hoodoo

Leitrim 0-13 Wicklow 0-10
SFC Round 2 Qualifier

Eleven years of painful defeats were wiped from the memory as Leitrim finally brought their qualifier misery to an end when they shocked Wicklow in an exciting encounter at Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada on Saturday.

Pre-match favourites Wicklow will rue missed opportunities -- they kicked 16 wides -- in a game they could have won, but the gods favoured a Leitrim side which thoroughly deserved this historic victory.

"There was a greater intensity among the lads before the game, they were very focussed' Leitrim's James Glancy said after sealing the win with a late point. "Going one point up at half time was important and when James Stafford missed a goal chance in the second half, I began believing it was going to be our day".

Ray Cox opened the scoring for Leitrim in the third minute but that was cancelled two minutes later by the excellent Joey Kelly, a late replacement for the injured Michael McLoughlin.

Glancy and Seanie Furlong exchanged points, before Emlyn Mulligan edged Leitrim ahead once more with a free. Wicklow enjoyed much of the possession in the opening exchanges through midfielders James Stafford and Rory Finn and led by 0-5 to 0-4 after 20 minutes.

However, Wicklow's defence was finding Glancy real handful and, aided by free-taker Mulligan, the hosts were ahead by 0-7 to 0-6 at half-time.

The pattern of the second half was set in the opening 12 minutes as three unanswered points, two from Mulligan and a third from play by substitute Gerry Hickey, extended the lead as Wicklow struggled to contain the free-flowing home attack.

Three Wicklow to Leitrim's one left just a point between the sides as the visitors went in search of victory, but a resolute Leitrim defence and a succession of wides let the visitors down.

Mulligan extended Leitrim's lead with a free three minutes from time, and although John McGrath reduced the margin once again, Glancy raised the biggest cheer of the day with a superb 71st-minute point to seal a famous victory for the Leitrim men.

SCORERS -- Leitrim: E Mulligan 0-6f, J Glancy 0-5, R Cox, G Hickey 0-1 each. Wicklow: J Kelly 0-3, S Furlong, J McGrath 0-2 each, S Furlong (f), D Healy, T Hannon (f) 0-1 each.

LEITRIM -- C McCrann 8, A Wynne 8, F McMorrow 8, P Maguire 8, C Clarke 7, E Williams 9, D Beck 7, D Sweeney 7, S Moran 7, P Brennan 8, E Mulligan 9, P McGowan 8, R Cox 8, J Glancy 9, K Conlon 7. Subs: G Hickey 7 for Sweeney, R Lowe 6 for Moran, A Croal 7 for Conlon, B McDonald (not on long enough) for Cox.

WICKLOW -- J Flynn 6, S Kelly 6, A McLoughlin 6, A Byrne 6, D Healy 7, S Byrne 6, D Hayden 6, J Stafford 7, R Finn 7, D O'Sullivan 6, S Furlong 7, J Kelly 8, J McGrath 7,T Hannon 7, P Burke 6. Subs: N Gaffney 6 for Byrne, C McGaynor 6 for O'Sullivan, N Mernagh 7 for Hannon, P Dalton 6 for Kelly.

REF -- B Cassidy (Derry).

Irish Independent

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