Casey's last puck snatches glory for Tyrone
Tyrone 0-13 Leitrim 1-9 (NHL DIVISION 3B Final)
There was a dramatic finale to this pulsating tie as Damien Casey struck a tremendous free from inside his own half to seal victory for Tyrone with the very last puck of the contest at Markievicz Park, Sligo.
While his strike was wind-assisted, it still showed admirable nerve and capped a fine display from the Tyrone captain, who fired seven points in a row for the Red Hands to turn a four-point deficit into the slenderest of victories over a Leitrim side that faded in the final quarter.
Casey edged Tyrone ahead for the first time in the contest when his 64th-minute free was on target, but when Pádraig O'Donnell levelled for Leitrim and Tyrone's Mark Winters was sent off late on, it appeared as if they would be striving for extra-time.
But Casey stepped forward as the injury-time rolled beyond the one-minute mark indicated, and the full-forward knew once the sliotar was airborne that his strike was on target.
It was cruel on a committed Leitrim outfit who probably deserved a draw and were at one stage five points ahead after James Glancy's 36th-minute goal.
Clement Cunniffe, Semaco Moradi, O'Donnell and Glancy were all on the mark as Leitrim opened up a 0-6 to 0-4 half-time lead, with Casey, Gerard Gilmore, and Ciarán McCrudden replying for Tyrone.
After Glancy's goal, though, Tyrone seized control of the game and a string of Casey points from the 48th minute on helped seal the win.
SCORERS – Tyrone: D Casey 0-9 (4fs), C McCrudden, G Gilmore, T Morgan, S Óg Grogan 0-1 each.
Leitrim: P O'Donnell (5fs) 0-5, J Glancy 1-2, C Cunniffe (1f), S Moradi 0-1 each.
TYRONE – J Devlin 7; C McNally 7, R Devlin 7, M O'Gorman 7; M Grogan 6, A Kelly 7, T Morgan 7; C Cross 7, G Fox 7; G Gilmore 7, C Grogan 7, M Winters 5; M Mulgrew 6, D Casey 8, C McCrudden 7. Subs: S Óg Grogan 7 for McCrudden 40, C Casey 6 for Cross 60.
LEITRIM – M Quinn 7; M Dominican 7, V McDermott 6, P Earley 7; D Poniard 6, C Cunniffe 7, K O'Connor 7; D McGovern 7, S Kiernan 6; M Poniard 7, P O'Donnell 7, N McLaughlin 7; K McGrath 7, J Glancy 7, S Moradi 7. Sub: L Moreton 6 for McLoughlin 51.
Ref – J Clarke (Cavan)