Saturday 24 February 2018

Leitrim finally open back door

Leitrim 0-13
Wicklow 0-10

JOHN FALLON at Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada

Leitrim created history in Carrick-on-Shannon last night when they became the last team in the country to win an All-Ireland qualifier SFC game, ending their barren run of 10 losing games since the back-door system came into place.

Full-forward James Glancy, who kicked five points from play, and centre-forward Emlyn Mulligan, were the heroes for Leitrim.

Joey Kelly, a late replacement, caused plenty of trouble for the home defence in the first-half and picked off three fine points from play in addition to setting up a few others.

Leitrim's hopes took a blow when midfielder Darren Sweeney limped off after 25 minutes, but James Glancy was impressive at full-forward. He helped himself to three points, although his third effort was disputed by Wicklow as the high shot looked wide.

Glancy had a goal effort saved by Wicklow corner-back Alan Byrne after 20 minutes.

Wicklow's best chance came five minutes from the break when Seanie Furlong put John McGrath through but Cathal McCrann smothered the shot.

The sides were level at that stage before Glancy's controversial effort edged Leitrim in front and while Tony Hannon landed a free from 30 metres to tie the game, Leitrim went in leading by 0-7 to 0-6 when Emlyn Mulligan pointed.

In the second half Mulligan doubled Leitrim's lead with a point from a free on the right. And he hit another from an even more acute angle on the right to open up a lead of 0-9 to 0-6 after 40 minutes.

Wicklow hit back but kicked three wides before sub Gerry Hickey opened up a four-point lead and Leitrim began to believe they would finally end their losing run in the qualifiers.

Wicklow hit back and points from Dean Healy and Seanie Furlong gave them hope but, appropriately, it was Mulligan and Glancy who wrapped up the historic win as they hit points either side of an effort from John McGrath.

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

Leitrim: C McCrann; P Maguire, F McMorrow, A Wynne; C Clarke, E Williams, D Beck; D Sweeney, S Moran; P McGowan, E Mulligan, P Brennan; R Cox, J Glancy, K Conlon. Subs: G Hickey for D Sweeney (25); R Lowe for S Moran (56); A Croal for K Conlon (63); B McDonald for R Cox (73)

Wicklow: J Flynn; S Kelly, A McLoughlin, A Byrne; D Healy, S Byrne, D Hayden; J Stafford, P Burke; J Kelly, D O'Sullivan, R Finn; S Furlong, J McGrath, T Hannon. Subs: N Gaffney for A Byrne (40); C McGraynor for D O'Sullivan (42); N Mernagh for T Hannon (48); P Dalton for J Kelly (65)

Referee: B Cassidy (Derry)

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