After absolutely dominating the exchanges in the first half, Leitrim had to come from behind to claim a minimum margin win over Sligo, thanks to a late Shane Flanagan free conversion at the end of Friday evening’s cracking Ted Webb Cup game in Kilcoyne Park, Tubbercurry.
Leitrim enjoyed a seven point’s interval lead after outplaying Sligo in the opening 30 minutes. But a rejuvenated Sligo turned the game completely around in the second half after they grabbed the lead at the end of the third quarter with goals from Thomas Byrne and sub Hughie Madden.
A dream start occurred for Leitrim when James Murray crashed the ball to the Sligo net within 20 seconds of the throw in after Murray had been put through by Shane Flanagan. Over the next 12 minutes Leitrim increased their lead when Shane Flanagan added two points and Morgan Quinn hit over a point, as well.
Leitrim ‘keeper Shane Sweeney prevented a Sligo goal bound effort entering his net in the 14th minute when deflecting a pile driver out for a ’45.’
Keelan Watters opened Sligo’s account when he hit over a long range in the next minute point.
Sligo’s Hughie Madden had a goal chance denied when Leitrim ‘keeper Shane Sweeney made a top class 21st minute save. Thomas Byrne cut Leitrim’s advantage when he put over a Sligo free three minutes later.
But Leitrim hit back with points from play by Morgan Quinn, Kevin Davey and Shane Flanagan to lead by 1-6 to 0-2 at the interval. However Sligo reduced Leitrim’s lead within five minutes of the restart when Thomas Byrne tapped over a free and Hughie Madden hit a point from play.
Martin Beirne kept the pressure on Sligo when he replied with a 36th minute Leitrim point. But over the next nine minutes Sligo took control of the exchanges and grabbed the lead for the first time in the game.
This purple Sligo patch was initiated by Jason Mathews when he hit over a 41st minute point from play. After that Tomas Byrne and Hughie Madden followed up with two well-takenÓgoals, which put the Yeats County in front.
After coming through some choppy waters, James Murray steadied the Leitrim ship when he levelled matters with a 46th minute point. Leitrim regained the lead when Morgan Quinn hit over another point five minutes later.
But Sligo regrouped and went back in front again by the 56th minute after Thomas Byrne hit over two points, one from play and the other from a well hit sideline kick. Byrne’s first point in this spell came an intense bout of Sligo pressure when Leitrim ‘keeper Shane Sweeney managed to keep the ball out of his net on no less than three successive occasions, before Byrne shot over.
Morgan Quinn failed to level matters when he hit a 60th minute Leitrim free wide but Shane Flanagan made amends when he tapped over another free two minutes later. Then, as the game was heading for a dramatic climax, Flanagan secured victory for Leitrim when he converted a 64th minute free.
However Sligo had a chance to claim a share of the spoils before the finish when Jason Mathews attempted to convert a long range free. But despite finding the distance with his kick, Mathews’ shot just tailed off wide.
Shane Sweeney; Dean McVeigh, James O’Brien, Thomas Cornyn; Declan Brennan, Sean McWeeney, Shane Ryan; Kevin Davey (0-1), Conor McWeeney; Gerard Kelly, Morgan Quinn (0-3), Martin Beirne (0-1); James Murray (1-1), Shane Flanagan (0-5), Ryan Creamer. Subs Ciarán Brick for Creamer (59 mins).
James Connolly; James Kelly, Colin McTiernan, Kevin McGovern; Pat Hughes, James Brett, James Cummy; Jason Mathews (0-1), Niall Clarkin; Mark McGoldrick, Keith McGrath, David Carridiane; Ronan McGarriagle, Keelan Watters (0-1), Thomas Byrne (1-4). Subs: Hughie Madden (1-1) for McTiernan (19 mins), David Sheppard for Clarkin (49 mins).
Referee: Jerome Henry (Galway).
Thanks to PJ Leddy & Leitrim Post for supplying this article
10-Jul-07 by By PJ Leddy – Leitrim Post