Late Ryan show shares spoils for GMIT
A point three minutes from time by their top scorer Jonathan Ryan gave GMIT a share of the spoils in an entertaining FBD Connacht Football League season opener played in ideal conditions at Cloone yesterday.
The new rules caused some difficulties for both sides, especially the fisted pass, while the mark provided the protection expected for high fielders.
Although pre-match favourites GMIT opened the scoring with a first-minute pointed free by Sean Kavanagh, it was a lively Leitrim, with five newcomers in their line-up, who dominated the early exchanges, led by the impressive James Glancy and Ronan Kennedy in attack.
In the 16th minute Leitrim were gifted a goal when a speculative lob by Philly McGuinness slipped through goalkeeper Donal Dowd's hands in the GMIT goal.
However, the second quarter belonged to GMIT as the Leitrim momentum faltered and they scored six points to Leitrim's one to leave the half-time score 1-8 to 0-9 in favour of the home side.
There was little between the sides in the second half, although the dominance of Paul Conroy and Michael O'Brien at midfield and the superior fitness of the college boys gave them an edge.
GMIT's extra legs showed in the final 10 minutes, when Stephen Griffin and Ryan scored two points without a reply from Leitrim to square the game.
SCORERS -- Leitrim: R Kennedy 0-4 (1f), P McGuinness 1-0, J Glancy 0-3 (2f), W McKeon 0-2, B Gallagher, P Howard 0-1 each. GMIT: J Ryan 0-6 (2f), S Griffin 0-4, S Kavanagh (1f), J Burke, P Conroy, C Hands 0-1 each.
LEITRIM -- E Lyons; J Glancy,J McKeon (capt), P Maguire; D Beck, B Prior, W McKeon; T Beirne, C Richardson; P McGuinness, M Foley, B Gallagher; R Kennedy, J Glancy, P Howard. Subs: C Phelan for E Lyons, D O'Donnell for P McGuinness, C Clarke for B Gallagher, D Sweeney for T Beirne, D Reynolds for P Maguire.
GMIT -- D Dowd; J Lacey, D Crawford, E O'Sullivan; D Lee, A Thompson, C Hands; P Conroy (capt), M O'Brien; J Burke, P Regan, S Kavanagh; J Ryan, S Griffin, M Cody. Subs: A Deasy for A Lee, C Canney for P Regan, A Campbell for J Ryan.
REF -- J Henry (Galway).