Pin-point Donnellan sees off Leitrim
LONGFORD 0-12 LEITRIM 0-9
Longford's Eoin Donnellan won the battle of the free takers when his accuracy from the dead ball ensured his side's deserved victory over Leitrim in this first-round clash at a damp Pairc Sean MhicDiarmada, Carrick on Shannon.
After a hard-fought opening few minutes, Clement Cunniffe's pointed free after six minutes opened the scoring but three Donnellan points without reply put Longford ahead midway through the half.
Leitrim came back strongly in the closing stages of the half to leave the sides level 0-4 each at the interval in a very even game.
Both sides exchanged scores in the opening minutes of the second half but three Donnellan pointed frees without reply restored Longford's dominance with 20 minutes remaining and they wouldn't be headed after that.
Leitrim did fight back through points by Padraig O'Donnell (two) and Cunniffe to level matters by the 60th minute but two further Donnellan points either side of a Joe O'Brien point from play ended Leitrim's hopes despite a spirited effort.
SCORERS – Longford E Donnellan 0-10 (7fs), J Casey, J O'Brien 0-1 each. Leitrim: P O'Donnell 0-5 (4fs),C Cunniffe 0-4 (4f).
LONGFORD – P Cullen; K Murray, B Stakem, C Egan; R Donnellan, C Flanagan,P Corcoran; D Tanner, M Coyle; E Donnellan, G Ghee, J Casey; J O'Brien, J Newman, C Kavanagh. Subs: K Connelly for Kavanagh (41)
LEITRIM – M Quinn; M Dominican, V McDermott, P Early; M Poniard, C Cunniffe, K O'Connor; S Kiernan, D McGovern; D Poniard, P O'Donnell, N McLoughlin; F Earley, J Glancy, K McGrath. Subs: S Moradi for Earley (46), C Moreton for McLoughlin (62), L Moreton for Ponaird (64).
REF – J Keane (Galway).