Leitrim presented themselves in a Jekyl and Hyde fashion in Carrick yesterday to win by one point in what turned out to be a very tense affair. Leitrim?s first half performance was hard to fault with much determination and grit shown. The second half proved to be a less savoury effort with Sligo making a comeback and they clawed to within a point. The final 10 minutes proved tense as Sligo clambered for the vital draw to see them through to the FBD home Final. However a stoic Leitrim held their ground and maybe with a better performance across the field Leitrim may have made it to the final.
In the first half Leitrim started with pace and really put it to Sligo as Ciaran Duignan was in blistering form with a personal tally of 7 points in the first half. Ciaran opened the Scóring with a free in the 4th minute. 2 more points followed from play in the 7th and 8th minutes. A point from a free in the 12th minute followed on by a point from play in the 15th minute. In the 20th minute Ciaran scored another point from a free. Declan Maxwell got on the score board with a point from play. Sligo?s captain Mark Breheny scored Sligo?s only score of the half with a point from play. Ciaran Duignan replied again with a point from play and Barry Prior finished off the half with a point in the 30th minute. Earlier on the half Declan Maxwell had a fisted goal disallowed as he was judged to have been in the box before the ball. Leitrim had one wide during the half to Sligo?s two wides. Unfortunately for Leitrim their influential captain Christy Carroll received an injury and was replaced at half time. Half time score Leitrim 0-9 Sligo 0-1
The second half was Sligo?s half in terms of possession and the Leitrim defence was under a lot of pressure throughout the half. Sligo registered the first score from Sean Davey in the second minute. Leitrim?s Barry Prior replied with a 4th minute score from play. Sligo registered another point from play which was answered by Leitrim?s Johnny Goldrick with a fine shot from a tight angle on the stand side. This was Leitrim?s last score and all the traffic was one way as Sligo midfield and half forwards dominated. Sligo slotted over 6 points unanswered to get to within one of Leitrim. Their final 2 points being in the 29 and 30th minutes. The Leitrim defence held out in the last tense minutes to prevent a Sligo appearance in the home final. Unfortunately from a Leitrim perspective and with news from Galway two more points were all that were needed to see Leitrim into the FBD Home Final, they weren?t to be however. Other incidents in the final quarter saw Leitrim?s John McKeon sent off for a rather innocuous second yellow and 1 minute later the numbers were levelled with Sligo?s Padraic Doohan also receiving his marching orders with a second yellow.
Final score – Leitrim 0-11 Sligo 0-10
Leitrim: C Duignan 0-6; B Prior 0-2; M Foley 0-1; D Maxwell 0-1; J Goldrick 0-1.
Sligo: M Brehony 0-5; S Davey 0-3; B Curran 0-1; S Stenson 0-1.
Leitrim – C McCrann; D Reynolds, J McKeon, F Holohan; D McHugh, B McWeeney, S Foley; G McCloskey, C Carroll; J Goldrick, S Canning, M Foley; C Duignan, D Maxwell, B Prior.
N Doonan for C Carroll (ht)
D Lowe for S Canning (39)
D Duignan for N Doonan (57)
D Beck for M Foley (61)
L Ferguson for D Lowe (62)
Sent off: J McKeon (2nd yellow).
Sligo – P Greene; R Donovan, N McGuire, J Feeney; C Harison, J Rolston, J Davey; K Tuffy, P Doohan; P McGovern, M Brehony, T Taylor; B Curran, S Davey, A Marren.
Subs: D Kelly for J Feeney (ht)
M Munds for K Tuffy (37)
S Stenson for A Marren (49)
D Sloyan for T Taylor (52)
Sent off: P Doohan (2nd yellow).
23-Jan-06 by Brendan Doyle – PRO