Leitrim in dreamland as late, late show delivers rare silverware
Lory Meagher Cup final (AET): Leitrim 2-23 Lancashire 2-22
Agony for Lancashire, who had one hand on the Lory Meagher Cup as the clock ticked past 73 minutes in Croke Park. Ecstasy for Leitrim, who claimed their first victory at this grade and celebrated appropriately - a win that seemed highly likely in the first half, an outside bet in the second and dead in the water near the end.
With three points between the sides deep in injury time, a rocket shot from James Glancy levelled the sides and sent 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. A last-gasp goal from Patrick Duggan brought it back to a point, but it was too late for Lancashire, who will know they left the title behind them.
Cancelled They trailed by three at half-time, Colm Moreton's goal soon cancelled out by one from Ronan Crowley, but Leitrim were still the better team. That changed after the break - Ronan Crowley, Conor Duggan and Darren Crowley chipping in to help Lancashire take command. It looked a done deal as full-time loomed, the lead appearing secure - until of course it wasn't.
"Am I dreaming?" asked Leitrim captain Declan Molloy on the steps of the Hogan Stand as he prepared to lift the trophy. But it was all very real. Their Houdini act complete, Leitrim are moving on up to the Nicky Rackard Cup, with a rare piece of silverware in tow.
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.
LANCASHIRE - 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).
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).
REF - K Brady (Louth)