20 March 2005 ? Division 2a: Allianz NFL Round 5
Leitrim 0-11 Longford 0-11
Leitrim Get Back on Track
A large attendance at this Pearse Park derby saw Leitrim put a poor first half performance behind them to secure a hard earned point and retain an outside chance of promotion. The result however confirmed the growing suspicion that the two dropped points in Carlow may well prove the team?s undoing as the race for promotion enters the closing stages.
There was of course a genuine fear that the defeat to a previously win-less Carlow marked the bursting of the early season Leitrim bubble and this gave Sunday?s game against the unbeaten league leaders an added significance. In this context, a good performance was essential ? win, lose or draw ? and Leitrim achieved both the draw and the feat of restoring supporters? belief in the Dolan revolution.
However, the early signs were not promising as the home team raced into a 0-6 to 0-2 lead after 20 minutes with the Leitrim defence again displaying signs of hesitancy as Padraig Davis and the Longford forward line threatened to rip Leitrim apart. Neil Sheridan had shot Longford into the lead straight from the throw in and while Johnny Goldrick replied for Leitrim, the home team were dominant in almost all sectors. Indeed they created at least three good goalScóring chances, but failed to convert any of them and allowed Leitrim to stay in touch with points from James Glancy, Shane Foley, Michael Foley and Declan Maxwell
By half time the lead stood at just three points ? 0-8 to 0-5 ? and Leitrim put in a terrific second half performance that should have secured both points. With the defence tightening considerably and Chris Carroll gaining a foothold in midfield, the Leitrim scores finally began to arrive. Points from Michael Foley (2), Johnny Goldrick and Chris Carroll to a solitary reply from Padraig Davis left the teams deadlocked at 0-9 apiece and just 10 minutes remaining.
It was a remarkable comeback from Leitrim and one that highlights just how far the team have come in the last couple of months. Indeed twice in the closing stages Longford made a sprint for the line edging in front through Padraig Davis, but Leitrim?s belief held and on both occasions the Connacht men struck back to level.
On the first occasion, with Longford leading by 0-10 to 0-9, Christy Carroll fielded magnificently to set up James Glancy for the levelling score. Longford again took the lead through Davis, but super sub Michael Duignan arrived at the end of a move started by Shane Foley and kicked a memorable equaliser in the last minute to earn a share of the spoils.
Leitrim: Cathal Mc Crann, Michael Mc Guinness, John Mc Keon, Dermot Reynolds, Niall Gilbane, Barry Mc Weeney, Shane Foley (0-1), Christopher Carroll (0-1), Gary Mc Closkey, Johnny Goldrick (0-2), Barry Prior, Michael Foley (0-3), Colin Regan, Declan Maxwell, James Glancy (0-2). Subs used: Donal Brennan for Declan Maxwell, Michael Duignan (0-1) for Donal Brennan, David Mc Hugh for Dermot Reynolds
21-Mar-05 by Lovely Leitrim