Roscommon 3-19 Leitrim 3-16
A missed penalty, a plethora of first half wides and some solid goalkeeping work from Roscommon custodian Enda Lawless denied Leitrim what would have been a momentous win against their neighbours in the Connacht Senior Hurling League on Wednesday night.
The Rossies burst out of the blocks with excellent early goals from Brendan Mulry and Mickey Joe Egan, but struggled to handle the threat posed by Joe Murray at corner forward, and the Dublin import got in behind for a good goal to keep the tie alive at 2-10 to 1-8 at half time.
By now the Leitrim defence was on top of their Roscommon counterparts, with Cathal Dolan the only scorer for Roscommon between the first half water break and early in the fourth quarter.
Leitrim kept in touch throughout , buoyed by a goal from James McNabola, but couldn’t quite get level, until their second penalty of the game at the end of the 70 minutes, which was crashed home by Murray to draw the sides level.
Briefly, the prospect of a “golden score” extra-time period loomed, until Roscommon substitute Adam Donnelly pounced on a shot from Dolan that looked like it was heading wide, retrieving the ball to score a decisive goal and set up a clash with Sligo on Saturday evening in the Connacht League final. Leitrim, meanwhile, will take on Mayo on Friday evening in the Shield decider.
Roscommon: C Dolan 0-12 (0-6f), MJ Egan, B Mulry & A Donnelly 1-1 each, E Fitzgerald 0-2, C Cosgrove & M Lohan 0-1 each.
Leitrim: B Delaney 0-9 (0-8f), J Murray 2-0 (1-0 pen), J McNabola 1-3, K McDermott 0-3 (0-2f), S Markham 0-1.
ROSCOMMON – E Lawless; H Rooney, P Kelleghan, R Kilcline; M Comerford, C Cosgrove, C Coyle; P Kelly, MJ Egan; B Mulry, E Kiernan, E Fitzgerald; B McGahon, N Connaughton, C Dolan.
Subs: M Lohan for Fitzgerald (30), A Donnelly for Kiernan (48), E Costello for Egan (60), J Martin for Mulry (65).
LEITRIM – M O’Brien; D McGovern, K Clerkin, P Lenehan; C Hackett, K McDermott, A McDermott; M Feeney, S Keane; S Markham, B Delaney, C Mallon; J McNabola, L Moreton, J Murray.
Subs: S Crowe for Moreton (54), D Kelleher for Mallon (54), G O’Brien for Delaney (65), E Clancy for Feeney (67), J Ward for Keane (68).
Referee: E Mac Suibhne