There was late drama in Tullamore yesterday as Willie Mulhall rescued a draw for Offaly deep into injury-time.
Leitrim had trailed 2-7 to 0-5 at the interval but Shane Ward's men came out a different force in the second half and improved through every line on the field.
The Connacht men were full value for the draw as they outscored their hosts 1-11 to 0-6 in the final 35 minutes.
Offaly dominated the first half, and goals from Nigel Dunne and Mulhall meant there only looked to be one winner.
Leitrim leaned heavily on Ronan Kennedy in that opening half and with three superb points from play, he was making his mark.
Offaly were eight points up with half an hour left to play but Leitrim showed tremendous grit to battle back into the game.
A penalty from Kevin Conlan was expertly dispatched on 41 minutes and when man of the match Kennedy curled over his fourth point of the day a minute later, the deficit was down to four.
As Offaly fell apart, Leitrim attacked the league leaders.
Mulhall and Niall McNamee were keeping Offaly ticking over with points as they led by five points with 20 minutes to go but Leitrim held their hosts scoreless for the following 17 minutes, eating into the deficit.
Darren Sweeney got a stranglehold around the middle of the field as the visitors threw off the shackles and went for the win.
Offaly gave away numerous needless frees and Conlan was on hand to kick five placed balls in succession, from all angles and distances, with his fifth putting his side a point up with five minutes to go.
A desperate Offaly went in search of an equaliser and it arrived through a Niall Darby free but with time just up, Kennedy floated over his first free of the day to give Leitrim the lead again.
Offaly had one more attack and after Anton Sullivan won the free, Mulhall slapped over his sixth point of the day as Leitrim were pipped at the post of a dramatic victory that had looked unlikely at half time.
Man of the Match: Ronan Kennedy (Leitrim)
Scorers - Offaly: W Mulhall 1-6 (0-5fs), N Dunne 1-2, N McNamee, N Darby (1f) 0-2 each, B Allen 0-1f. Leitrim: K Conlan 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-5fs), R Kennedy 0-5 (1f), F Clancy, A McLoughlin 0-2 each, D Sweeney, S Moran 0-1 each.
Offaly - A Mulhall 6; B Darby 6, E Rigney 6, J O'Connor 6; C Donohue 6, J Moloney 6, N Darby 7; G Guilfoyle 7, N Smith 7; P Sullivan 6, N McNamee 7, N Bracken 7; B Allen 6, N Dunne 7, W Mulhall 8. Subs: A Sullivan 6 (for B Allen, BC 34), E Carroll 5(for P Sullivan 50), K Mullally 5 (for N Bracken 50), D Hogan 5 (for C Donohue 55), J Evans (for N Dunne 68).
Leitrim - C McCrann 6; B Prior 6, R Gallagher 6, M McWeeney 6; N Woods 7, G Reynolds 7, P McGowan 7; D Sweeney 8, S Moran 8; S McWeeney 6, F Clancy 7, K Conlon 8; R Kennedy 9, J McGrail 7, A McLoughlin 7. Subs: D Beck 6 (for B Prior 23), J Connolly 5 (for P McGowan 45), C Gilheaney 5(for M McWeeney 52), D Moran 5 (for S Moran 57), C McGowan 5 (for F Clancy 63).
Ref - N Cullen (Fermanagh)
Jack Sheedy's Longford side earned a narrow two-point victory over Waterford at Pearse Park yesterday. The locals stormed into a comprehensive lead in the opening half, but failed to build on that advantage in the second half, allowing Waterford to dominate for long periods.
Man of the Match Francis McGee put in a terrific day at the office for Longford and registered 1-4 over the course of this lacklustre affair. McGee hit Longford's first goal of the afternoon in the 22nd when Enda Williams played in a perfect weighted pass into the corner-forward who finished off a well-engineered move from close range.
The locals continued to impress and fine individual white-flag efforts from Shane Doyle, Sean McCormack and Barry McKeon ensured a nine-point cushion at the interval. After the break Longford were reduced to 14 men when Shane Doyle was sent off for a second bookable offence, and the visitors took full advantage and duly started to cut the deficit. Two points from Paul Whyte and a well-taken goal from Mark Fercombe closed the gap back to single figures, but Longford held their nerve in the closing minutes.
Man of the Match: Francis McGee (Longford)
Scorers - Longford: F McGee 1-4 (1f), S McCormack 0-3, B McKeon 0-2(1), S Doyle, P McKeon, K Diffley (1)each. Waterford: M Ferncombe 1-3, P Hurney 0-3, P Whyte 0-2f, S Aherne0-1f, J Veale 0-1.
Longford - P Collumb 7; F Battrim 6, B O'Farrell 7, P Foy 6; C P Smith 6, D Masterson 7, E Williams 7; B Gilleran 7, K Diffley 6; S Doyle 7, P McKeon 6, R McEntire 6; B McKeon 6, S McCormack 7, F McGee 8 .Subs: A Fowan for P Foy 22nd, M Quinn for R McEntire 44th, P Gill for B McKeon 67th, M Hughes for F McGee 68th.
Waterford - S Enright 6; D L Lawlor 6, R O'Ceallaigh 6, T O'Gorman 6; T O'hUallachain 6, M O'Gorman 6, C Phelan 6; S Aherne 6, T Prendergast 6; L O'Lonain 6 , M O'Halloran 6, P Hurney 7; M Fercombe 8, P Whyte 7, JJ HUtchinson 6. Subs: O Keevers for C Phelan 18th, S Briggs for T O Huallachain 32nd, G Nugent for M O'Halloran 37th, J Veale for L O'Lonain ht.
Ref - S Hehir (Galway).
Antrim remain in the promotion hunt after this narrow victory over London at Toome.
A frantic opening saw two goals and a red card inside nine minutes, with the ball in the Antrim net after 45 seconds after a Lorcan Mulvey free deflected to Alan O'Hara, who fired home.
Antrim responded with an Owen Gallagher point before CJ McGourty saw his free come back off the post to Tomas McCann, who was then pulled to the ground. McGourty scored the resulting penalty.
The hosts were reduced to 14 men when Conor Burke kicked out at Paraic McGoldrick.
Former Cavan midfielder Lorcan Mulvery was the standout performer for London while Conor McGourty and Michael Pollock proved potent for Antrim. There were never more than two points between the sides until the closing stages when London began to lose their discipline. Black cards for their midfield duo Cathal Og Greene and Mark Gottsche allowed Antrim to pull away and hold on for the win and the two points. Man of the Match: C McGourty (Antrim)
Scorers - Antrim: C McGourty 1-5 (0-5f), M Pollock 0-3 (1f), T McCann 0-2(fs), O Gallagher 0-1, M McCann 0-1. London: A O'Hara 1-1 (1f), L Mulvey Mulvey 0-3 (2f), S Conroy 0-2 (2f), T Gaughan 0-1.
Antrim - C Kerr 7, C Burke 3, S McVeigh 6, D Lynch 7, J Lavery 6, J Crozier 6, T Scullion 5, M McCann 8, O Gallagher 6, C Murray 6, T McCann 6, P McBride 6, R Murray 6, M Pollock 7, C McGourty 8. Subs: B Hasson 6 for O Gallagher 52, C McGuinness 7 for P McBride 55, R Johnston for T Scullion 63, M Fitzpatrick for T McCann 67.
London - P Coggins 6, D McCreevy 6, P Butler 5, P Galvin 6, S Curran 5, T Gaughan 7, D McCarthy 6, M Gottsche 7, C Greene 7, M Carroll 6, P McGoldrick 7, M Walsh 5, S Conroy 7, L Mulvey 8, A O'Hara 7. Subs: S Brosnan 6 for D McCarthy 50, S Buckley for M Gottsche 64 (black card), B Smith for P McGoldrick 64.
Ref - T Carroll (Offaly).