Ryan Delaney hits late point as Cavan snatch victory over Leitrim and win Division 3B
Cavan 0–17 Leitrim 0–16
A point by sub Ryan Delaney at the death earned Cavan victory over a battling Leitrim outfit at the end of an exciting NHL Division 3B final in Abbottstown.
A minute earlier in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Gavin O'Hagan had levelled matters when he put over a Leitrim '65'. Cavan led at all times from the outset and enjoyed a 0–11 to 0–8 half-time advantage.
Kilkenny natives, Canice Maher and Nicky Kenny, shot all Cavan's first-half scores with Maher getting 0–7 and Kenny 0–4. Leitrim stayed in touch in this period thanks to five Gavin O'Hagan points plus one each from Joe Murray, Conor Beirne and Dave McGovern.
Despite playing against the breeze in the second half, Cavan continued to dictate matters and led by 0– 6 to 0–12 with 15 minutes to go, with Nicky Kenny getting three points for the Breffni men and Canice Maher hitting two.
After that Leitrim rallied and got on level terms by the 41st minute mark with Gavin O'Hagan hitting two points for the Connacht side while Joe Murray and Michael Dervan chipped in with a point apiece.
In this period match referee, Peter Owens, had to retire with a pulled hamstring and assistant referee Aidan McAleer had to take charge for the remainder of the action. Near the end it seemed that extra time would be required to get a winner but sub Ryan Delaney stepped up to send the league title to Cavan.
Cavan – C Maher 0 – 9 3f, '65'; N Kenny 0 – 7; R Delaney 0 – 1.
Leitrim – G O'Hagan 0 – 7 4f, '65'; L Murray 0 – 4; S Markham, D McGovern, J McNabola, C Beiren and M Dervan )f) 0–1 each.
Cavan: D Sheridan 6; S Briody, D Crudden 7, L Óg Cooke 7; J Barry 6, C Sheanon 8, M Hynes 6; D Mulligan 6, N Kenny 8; T Leorard 6; 7 N Kenny 9; C Sheanon 7; S Keating 6, D Carney 7, C Gargan 6.
Subs: R Delaney 5 for Keating & A Sheridan 3 for Gargan (51); P McCabe 3 for Cooke & M Moffett 3 for Gargan (66); E Shanley 2 for Leonard (70).
Leitrim: C. Cunniffe 6; P Lenehan 5, A McLoughlin 6, K. Clerkin 5; M Feeney 7, J Fitzgibbon 7, D McGovern 7; E Moreton 6, G O' Hagan 8; S Goldrick 6, J Murray 7, S Markham 6; T Brannigan 6, C Beirne 6, L Moreton 4.
Subs: S O'Riordan 4for Markham & J McNabola 5for L Moreton (HT); M Dervan 4 for Brannigan (60); E Clancy 5 for McLoughlin (62).
Referee: P. Owens (Down).