Leitrim gave their hopes of survival a real shot in the arm with this deserved victory against Louth in Dundalk yesterday.
The defeat all but condemns Louth to a second relegation in successive seasons.
It was the westerners who made the early running thanks to a goal from the lively Ryan O'Rourke after 13 minutes before Mark Plunkett's long-range point put the visitors four clear five minutes before the break.
However, scores from Louth's Tommy Durnin and Ryan Burns ensured it was all to play for in the second half with Leitrim going in 1-5 to 0-6 in front at the interval.
Both sides traded points early in the second half before a couple of frees from Leitrim's Keith Beirne gave the visitors breathing space.
Louth were still very much in the game and went close to goaling but Burns' effort was cleared off the line. Leitrim took advantage by earning a penalty up the other end soon after which was calmly despatched by Beirne.
Man of the match Ryan O'Rourke ended any hopes of a Louth comeback as he slotted home a third goal for Leitrim with 15 minutes remaining.
Louth did manage a late goal via a Burns penalty but this was Leitrim's day.
SCORERS - Leitrim: Ryan O'Rourke 2-3; K Beirne 1-4 (1-0 pen, 3f); D Rooney 0-3; D Wrynn 0-2; M Plunkett, C McGloin 0-1 each. Louth: R Burns 1-4 (1-0 pen, 2f); C Downey, D Byrne, B Duffy, T Durnin, L Jackson, S Mulroy, G McSorley, C Byrne 0-1 each.
LEITRIM - D McKiernan 7; C Reynolds 7, F McTague 6, P Maguire 7; A Flynn 7, J Kilheany 7, C McGloin 7; D Wrynn 8, K Keegan 6; S Moran 6, Ryan O'Rourke 9, M Plunkett 7; D Flynn 7, D Rooney 8, K Beirne 8. Subs: O McCaffrey for Keegan (52), Riordan O'Rourke 6 for Flynn (53), E Sweeney for Rooney (67), P Dolan for Wrynn (67).
Louth - F Sheeky 6; D Corcoran 6, D Campbell 5, J Craven 5; E Callaghan 6, E Carolan 6, J Clutterbuck 5; T Durnin 5, C Earley 5; C McKeever 5, B Duffy 5, C Downey 5: S Mulroy 5, D Byrne 5, R Burns 6. Subs: L Jackson 6 for Earley (43), G McSorley for McKeever (51), O Murray 6 for J Clutterbuck (57), C Grimes 5 for D Byrne (57), C Byrne 6 for Burns (63).
Ref - L Devanney (Mayo).