Leitrim escape to victory after dramatic Cup finale
Leitrim 2-23 Lancashire 2-22
An escape for Leitrim, at first to extra time and then to victory - more than 90 minutes of hurling eventually handing them the Lory Meagher Cup.
It was their first victory at this level, and was celebrated as such - the elation pouring out of players at full-time, contrasting to the crushed expressions on their rivals' faces. This was a game Lancashire left behind: they had one hand on the trophy with 73 minutes played, three points to the good and only needing to keep the green flag from waving to get home.
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But they couldn't, a rocket from James Glancy levelling the sides and sending it to extra-time. Leitrim were by far the better there, with Colm Moreton, Gavin O'Hagan and Zak Moradi helping them to a four-point lead as they entered the closing minutes. A last-gasp goal from Patrick Duggan brought it back to a point, but it was all too late for Lancashire.
"Am I dreaming?" asked Leitrim captain Declan Molloy from the steps of the Hogan as he prepared to lift the trophy. But it was all very real.
Their Houdini act complete, Leitrim are moving on up to next year's Nicky Rackard Cup.
Scorers - Leitrim: G O'Hagan 0-9 (6f, 1 pen); C Moreton 1-4; J Glancy 1-0; C Cunniffe 0-3; A Byrne 0-2; Z Moradi, B Murray, L Moreton, E Moreton, K McDermott 0-1 each. Lancashire: R Crowley 1-9 (4f); P Duggan 1-1; D Crowley 0-4; E Kenny, T Lee, T Maher 0-2 each; C Duggan, JJ Dunphy 0-1 each.
Leitrim: D Molloy; P Earley, D McGovern, N McLoughlin; F Earley, J Glancy, E Moreton; L Moreton, K McDermott; B Murray, C Moreton, A Byrne; G O'Hagan, C Cunliffe, C O'Donovan. Subs: D Ryan for Earley (60), Z Moradi for McDermott (61), K McGrath for McLoughlin (69), K McDermott for F Earley (85)
Lanchashire: R McAteer; L Knocker, C Larkin, S Maloney; D Power, G Jacob, T Lee; C Doherty, T Maher; D Crowley, D Maskey, JJ Dunphy; E Kenny, J Cleere, R Crowley. Subs: C Duggan for Maskey (40), O McMahon for Knocker (58), P Duggan for Maher (63), E Kelly for Power (69), S Dunne for Crowley (75), S Wallace for Cleere (75), T Maher for Dunphy (80), J Cleere for Doherty (85)
Referee: Kevin Brady (Louth)
Sunday Indo Sport