Leitrim 1-14 Donegal 1-16 AET
It was a late point from substitute Eamon McGee which sealed victory for the Tir Chonaill men following a keenly contested game played before a large crowd.
A goal from substitute James Glancy in the seventh minute of injury-time forced extra-time but Donegal did enough to hold out for a slender victory with Rory Kavanagh impressive.
With Leitrim holding a commanding 0-6 to 0-2 lead at this stage and dominating possession it looked like they would continue to maintain their early pace but suddenly Donegal sprung to life with scores from Brendan Devanney and Kevin McMenamin cutting the gap to two points with five minutes remaining before the interval.
However Brian McIvers side were now full of confidence and when Leitrim were gifted a penalty, Paul Durcan showed great resiliance between the posts.
Half-forward Declan Maxwell was pulled down before Michael Foley failed to hit the back of the net after a fully out-stretched Durcan stopped the centre-half forwards kick.
Donegal bounced back with Ryan Bradley converting a point at the opposite end to cut the gap to the minimum before a rifling kick from Michael Murphy following a Kevin McMenamin pass finished in the back of the Leitrim net and ensured that the visitors took a 1-5 to 0-6 interval lead.
The second half was a very even affair with both teams exchanging point for point as little separated the sides in both the Scóring and possession stakes.
Just three points came from placed balls in the second half with Ciaran and Michael Duignan converting a free and a 45 respectively for Leitrim while McMenamin took Donegals lone pointed free in the 16th minute of the second half.
Both teams took some inspirational points from play with Leitrim defender Dermot Reynolds cutting the gap to two points 11 minutes into the half.
Murphys goal proved to be the real difference between the sides for the majority of the second half and indeed into injury-time where that goal was still proving to be the vital difference.
However with at least six minutes of injury-time to play, there was still enough time for Donegal to find the back of the net and second half substitute Glancy brought his haul to 1-2 with a 77th minute goal which ensured extra-time.
The home side failed to score in the first period of extra-time and Donegal took points from Kavanagh (2) and Christy Toye. Although Ciaran Duignan was impressive on the restart with two Leitrim points, Donegal somehow held out for a win.
Donegal: P Durcan; N McGee, P Campbell, K Lacey; F McGlynn, B Monaghan, P McCongley; N Gallagher, K Cassidy; M Murphy (1-1), M Hegarty (0-2), R Kavanagh (0-2); K McMenamin (0-3, 2f), R Bradley (0-2), B Devanney (0-3).
SUBS: N McCready for Campbell (55); E McGee (0-1) for McCongley (64); C Toye (0-1) for Hegarty (66); M McElhenny for Murphy (70); S McDermott (0-1) for Devaney (70); T Donaghue for McGee (HTET); M Hegarty for Bradley (83); C Dunne for McElhenny (84).
LEITRIM: N Gill; D Reynolds (0-1), M McGuinness, B McWeeney; C Kennedy, J McKeon, S Foley; G McCloskey, M Duignan (0-2, 1 45); C Regan, M Foley, D Maxwell (0-1); D Brennan, F McBrien (0-1), C Duignan (0-7, 4f).
SUBS: B Prior for Regan (25); S Canning for Kennedy (HT); J Glancy (1-2) for Brennan (41); J Guckian for C Duignan (57); D O Connor for M Foley (70); P Gilmartin for Foley (77); C Duignan for O Connor (80); D Brennan for McBrien (80)
REFEREE: G Kinneavy (Roscommon)
Frees: Donegal – 28 Leitrim 42
Wides: Donegal – 14 Leitrim 2
45s: Donegal 3 Leitrim 1
Yellow Cards: Donegal (1) Eamon McGee. Leitrim (4): Gary McCloskey
Red Cards: Donegal (0) Leitrim (0)
08-Jul-07 by GAA.ie